Ventilator Image
The Mechanical Ventilator Milano, developed by an international, interdisciplinary team, is inexpensive and simple to manufacture, and has received authorization from U.S. and Canadian agencies. (Credit: MVM Collaboration)

A team of researchers has developed a low-cost, mass-producible ventilator to help address the worldwide shortage. Because the ventilator is developed specifically for COVID-19 patients, it has reduced functionality compared to typical ventilators. This simpler design cuts the cost of production up to fivefold to under $10,000 per unit.

The ventilator consists of a gas inlet valve and a gas outlet valve, along with a series of controls and alarms to ensure proper monitoring and customizability from patient to patient. The design is built from readily available parts and is presented under an open license, allowing developing countries to quickly and easily manufacture their own units.

The MVM has already received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and received Health Canada Medical Device Directorate authorization. About 6,000 units have been delivered to date under a contract from the Canadian government for its stockpile, with the potential for more, if requested. Donations from Canada to developing countries in need have also been considered from the beginning of the contract award.

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