Hospital ICU ventilator machines sit at the awkward intersection of complicated, expensive and scarce.
What if this could relieve just about all of those pain points?
The Spiro wave ventilator is pretty much what it looks like, It's a machine that actuates one of those manual bag ventilators.
But by surrounding that bag now with software, sensors, and electromechanical actuators, it does a whole lot of things better than a simple bag.
It controls how large a breathe is pumped in, how often those breathes are pumped in, how much time you allow between them to let the patient naturally exhale.
And the optimal pressure under which you put in those breaths.
All of that without a human healthcare worker having to stand there at the bed operating a traditional manual ventilator, and know that about 30% of the people who go into the hospital with COVID-19 do get put on a ventilator of some kind Spiro wave was initially inspired by a design coming out of MIT, something they called the event, which was inspired by the dramatic lack of ventilators in Italy.
This was one of the first designs that said can we apply a machine to a manual ventilator bag and create a ventilator?
Spiro wave is not meant to replace the big high dollar ventilator.
It's meant to help patients who do need some help breathing But don't necessarily need all the power and sophistication of a full size ventilator, therefore freeing up that machine to go to the more critical patient who absolutely does need it.
Spiro wave is currently under an FDA emergency authorization as it works toward a more durable 510 k approval for their device.
Now, the cost one of the big advantages here, the Spiro wave is currently running about $3300 to manufacture Which is a far cry from the $30,000 or so on the price tag of a big full size hospital ventilator.
Now they're going to make their initial rather limited run and prioritize that for the new this for hospitals in New York City.
The key here though, is that as the volume increases and other manufacturers come online under a free open source license, the price could get a lot closer to or below 20 $500.
The lead on the project says the entire thing could have collapsed for the want of a single $8 Park, a thing called a pressure differential sensor, like these made by Honeywell and other companies make them as well.
The just in time nature of the production of so many electronics today meant that there was not a glut of these sitting around somewhere to be purchased.
Spiro wave sprung from the crisis in New York City and it's a very new york team.
There's new lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a technology incubator.
10 X beta is a rapid product development company.
They're also in Brooklyn.
Boys technology is helping out with a lot of the manufacturing and they're better known for some of those assistance kiosks you might see in a New York City subway station.
The name however, came from San Francisco.
From consultancy frog design, which has worked on Sony TVs and Apple computers in the past, I'm told rich Spiro is the Latin for breath and that's kind of where they started.
And the initial funding came from the New York City Economic Development Commission, while the Rockefeller philanthropies are raising money to fund widespread distribution Now, to be sure there's been some easing and the critical shortage of ventilators in New York City and a few other areas.
And there's also some thought in the medical community that perhaps not so many COVID-19 patients need mechanical ventilation, all part of the 2020 hindsight That said, Dr.
Mitchell Katz, who is the head of Health and Hospitals in New York City says he will not be a bit surprised if we have a second and third wave of COVID-19.
And those next two may arrive coincident with the next flu season.
So he says stocking up on ventilators now of this type and others is not overstocking