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Joshua M. Pearce
A review of open source ventilators for COVID-19 and future pandemics
In this manuscript, after providing a background on ventilators, the author reviews the existing and already openly-published, vetted designs for ventilators systems. These studies are analyzed to determine if the designs are open source both in license as well as in practical details (e.g. possessing accessible design source files, bill of materials, assembly instructions, wiring diagrams, firmware and software as well as operation and calibration instructions).
The results of this review found that the tested and peer-reviewed systems lacked complete documentation, and the open systems that were documented were both at the very early stages of design and were essentially only basically tested.
There is a large amount of future work needed to move open source ventilators up to the level considered scientific-grade equipment, and even further work needed to reach medical-grade hardware. This is needed to achieve the potential of this approach by developing policies, updating regulations, and securing funding mechanisms for the development and testing of open source ventilators, for both the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as for future pandemics and for everyday use in low-resource settings.
This is an open access peer review report, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. It permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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