Israeli engineers created an open-source hack for making Covid-19 ventilators

14 Apr, 2020

It took 10 days, more than 40 scientists, and the motor of a snowblower. The result may wind up being an inexpensive way to—in a pinch—save the lives of people suffering from Covid-19.

The respiratory illness can lead to severe cases of pneumonia, making it hard for those most affected to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator. But healthcare workers around the world don’t have enough ventilators for the number of people needing help. That’s given rise to a lot of creativity.

A team of scientists in Israel this week unveiled what they’re calling the AmboVent-1690-108, an inexpensive ventilator system made from a handful of off-the-shelf items. Project leader David Alkaher also heads the technology work of the Israeli Air Force’s confidential Unit 108, which is comprised of electronics specialists. Whereas a typical hospital ventilator costs around $40,000, the AmboVent system can be made for about $500 to $1,000.

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