Thursday, May 14, 2020

Ham-Assisted Emergency Ventilator Heading Toward FDA OK

 A "MacGyver"-style ventilator, built around an Arduino microcontroller and built for less than $250 from parts available at your local big-box home improvement center, has received preliminary design approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a report in the Gainesville Sun newspaper. 

The project, headed by Professor Samsun Lampotang at the University of Florida, has involved several hams since its earliest days. Among them, according to the ARRL, are Dr. Gordon Gibby, KX4Z, a colleague of Lampotang who recruited the other hams; uBITX designer Ashhar Farhan, VU2ESE, and Arduino authority (and CQ author) Dr. Jack Purdum, W8TEE. One feature of the design, in addition to its low cost and easily available parts, is its ability to sense a patient's efforts to breathe on his/her own and immediately switch from providing full ventilation helping the patient's own efforts. Final FDA approval had not been received by press time.