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Heroes of All Sizes

by | May 1, 2020 | Newsletter | 0 comments

The Ventilator Project has been carried through ups and downs by heroes of all sizes. Some have been large companies and corporations stepping in with resources more extensive than we could have dreamed of.

Others have been advisors and consultants with years of industry experience who have given us invaluable advice that has helped to guide our many hands. 

Then there’s individuals like Lucy, a ten year old who took the initiative to raise $3,000 for us by juggling a soccer ball for 15 days. 

The support of these heroes has allowed us to advance at an unprecedented pace. This week showed progress on the FDA front, yielded a series of new partnerships, and left us with a v4 prototype ready for internal testing. 

The moment has finally arrived. Our ventilator breathes.

PRODUCT UPDATES

After a grueling but highly productive week, the v4 prototype is mechanically, functionally, and firmware ready. It has a new one-piece form factor consisting of an aluminum frame and hard plastic plating. This advancement has allowed us to nearly finalize a bill of materials. 

AIRA’s finalized sizing is confirmed at approximately 1’x 1’ x 2’, allowing us to solidify our exterior design mockup. We hope to have it onsite by the end of next week. The new form factor has its inspiratory and expiratory connections on the front, and air connections on the back. As planned, its adjustable controls and sensory readout is on the top, and its battery readout is on the front. 

Our transition to the testing phase on such a short timeline is a testament to the extensive effort  and ingenuity of our dedicated engineering team.  

COMPANY UPDATES

 On the manufacturing side, our licensing agreement talks are progressing with India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Mexico. We’ve solidified partnerships with several companies that will aid in supply chain logistics, the manufacturing of test equipment, and standardized workflow processes. 

Our FDA team has excitedly informed us that pre-EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) contact with the FDA has been confirmed.  Additionally, we have completed standardized protocols for the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAIMA), and established internal testing protocols. This headway allows us to officially run QA testing on the prototype.

Lastly, The Ventilator Project will be formally moving to a dedicated office space in MassRobotics, the fifth floor of the building we are currently in. Doing so allows the team to continue operating without disruption from any MA policy changes  over the coming months.  

NEW PARTNERSHIPS

We’ve continued to build upon the relationships that have formed our foundation. In addition to the ongoing support of Harpoon Brewery, MassRobotics, and others, we’ve partnered with VKS –  Visual Knowledge Share Digital Work Instructions – who will be our software of choice for manufacturing TVP systems.  VKS will help us to drive a consistent workflow process as well as tie in all key traceable FDA requirements to a cloud based SaaS system. 

Additionally, we’ve just signed a legal partnership agreement with ATS to provide The Ventilator Project with manufacturing test equipment for AIRA. ATS just finished delivering systems last week that would test 1000 units per day to GM, Phillips, Medtronic, and several other automotive manufacturers who are also making ventilators. Clearmotion has also joined the cause, aiding us in sourcing, supply chain logistics, deal negotiation. 

We have built partnerships with over ten businesses since our founding, however – as mentioned – we don’t like to think of them as just partners. To us, they’re heroes, larger than life, and an essential part of forwarding our cause.

In our most recent blog post, we explain why their support has been an instrumental part of The Ventilator Project’s success.

WHAT KEEPS US GOING

Facing the enormity of the crisis we are in can at times be overwhelming. The colossal nature of the pandemic looms over all of us, with current reported cases in the U.S. surpassing 1,000,000, and the death toll surging past 60,000.  

A little hope and positivity can go a long way.  And, this week, we received that in the form of ten-year-old Lucy Houser.

Lucy raised over $3,000 in 15 days, all by juggling a soccer ball. After learning about The Ventilator Project, Lucy – who just turned 10 – wanted to find some way that she could contribute. 

“The thought of not being able to breathe due to COVID-19 would be really scary,” said Lucy.

An avid soccer player, she decided she would juggle for 15 days straight as part of a fundraiser to bring awareness to our cause and help us get ventilators built. 

“They’re not enough in production,” explained Lucy. “I want to help them build one.”

Not only did Lucy raise us $3,000 – she also reached out to show us her appreciation.

“I think you’re really creative and brave, and it’s really kind of you to be doing this for our community.”

Lucy, if you’re reading this, we would like to tell you that you are as brave as any of us. It’s because of people like you, individuals who show strength and spirit in a time of great fear, that we can believe in a better future – a future built from generosity and compassion. 

To our friends, families, partners, donors, supporters – to those who work tirelessly on this mission for hope – 
Thank you for being our heroes.       
 

Sincerely, 

The Ventilator Project Team

IN THE PRESS

12News Connecticut

UConn students help design and build inexpensive ventilators.

3D Print.com

3D Printing and COVID-19 April 28, 2020 Update

Boston New Technology

Fifteen Boston-Area Startups, Programs and Initiatives that are Making a Difference During the Health and Economic Crisis

University of Cincinnati News

#UCtheGood: Lindner faculty member, students breathe life into ventilator startup

The Cornell Daily Sun

Student Spotlight on Sam Feibel ’20: Designing Ventilator Prototypes to Aid U.S. Hospitals

Babson Thought & Action

Sarah Lerner ’17, MBA’20 is doing whatever it takes to help The Ventilator Project in their efforts.