Covid-19: create and release the code of a respirator based on a Raspberry Pi

Few days ago Information was released on the creation of a respirator based on a Raspberry Pi, the person behind this creation is Marco Mascorro a robotics engineer than in March, put the respirator design and code online.

It should be noted that Marco Mascorro, who has no previous experience in creating a medical team, but he said he had built this theoretical respirator prototype to meet the need of respirators related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Marco Mascorro mentions that the concept of its creation is to use components that are easy to assemble and control with a software solution controlled by a Raspberry Pi. A solution perceived as a blessing with this evident absence of respirators in the face of patient distress.

And it is also due to its production capabilities, Raspberry Pi becomes an ideal option, since its manufacture is quite fast. What's more the Raspberry Foundation commented on this:

“One of the main challenges with making products like this on a rapid scale is that you can increase the production of the air handling elements, but you still need to provide the control element: often the components you need are in 20 weeks time. waiting and (hopefully) we'll be out on the other side of this pandemic by then »

'Product is stockpiled to store' rather than 'build to order', so we generally have products available or in-process with short lead times. "

The publication of the robotics engineer caused many reactions from health personnel. They were quickly contacted with emails of information, advice and comments.

Marco Mascorro used them to make improvements to his prototype:

"I sincerely believe that technology can solve many of the problems we have today, especially in this pandemic," he said.

Now, a team in Colombia responsible for carrying out the tests In the prototypes he said that the architecture is suitable for the countries of South America, because the pieces of the traditional models can be difficult to obtain.

The Mascorro model only uses parts that are easy to findlike the valves you use that can be found at plumbing and auto supply stores.

Dr. Omar Ramírez, who leads the research team, said:

 “The fight against Covid-19 is like a race. The whole world is competing against this virus, but on different paths and what determines these different paths is access to resources and experience «

And the role of the Raspberry Pi controlled system is critical here. It is he who determines the air pressure, decides the opening and closing of the valves. It can even determine if the patient has a partial or full need for a ventilator.

To evaluate its operation in the management of oxygen supplied to patients, these respirators will undergo a series of accelerated tests in two institutions in Bogotá.

One of them will be at the University Hospital of the Xavierian Pontifical University and the other at the Universidad de los Andes.

Regarding the operation of the respirator, it is mentioned that the equipment will be put into the test phase by rotating 24 hours a day for 5 days to supply artificial lungs in a first test phase.

If everything goes as expected, it will be possible to chain tests on animals. Finally, if everything works correctly, the first human tests will be carried out in early May. A much faster plan than usual, since equipment of this type generally requires a year and a half before being authorized on the market.

Si after testing in patients with COVID-19 are conclusive, increased production of this type of device and especially a provision of plans and codes it will be available to everyone.

However, many doctors are skeptical about this type of experiment, because for them, the testing phases of medical devices are not there at all.

However, this type of development makes a lot of sense in an emergency situation, since in many countries, access to conventional and properly approved respirators will not be possible.


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