The non-profit initiative aims to offer governments and healthcare institutions a low-cost ventilator that can be manufactured locally for less than €1,000. The ventilator, the OxyVita, has been developed thanks to the expertise of intensive-care doctors with experience treating critical COVID-19 patients in Spain.

In Spain, the scarcity of ICU ventilators put the most serious coronavirus patients in grave risk. To prevent this from happening again, OxyVita, the new mechanical ventilator for invasive ventilation has been created.

How initiative started

  • International open innovation competition/challenge launched at (the open innovation hub for engineering) on March 18, 2020.
  • One solution selected among 50 different proposals.
  • The prototype was built by a group of engineers in two weeks.
  • The solution was presented at the Arturo Soria Vithas Hospital on April 15, before a panel of doctors and engineers.
  • Agreement with Vithas, that will support the testing process and the medical validation, and with McFly Technologies, that will take care of the industrialisation process.
  • lintya will help to fund the industrialisation and the manufacturing of the pre-series of 100 units.
  • New collaborators join in like Francisco de Vitoria University, Catholic University of Valencia, the renewable energy company Capital Energy, Medical Simulator, and the Military Hospital Gómez Ulla.

This solidarity initiative is led by the open innovation network ennomotive with the support of lyntia, the entity that funded the pre-series; Vithas and its foundation, the healthcare company that helped to validate the ventilator with its intensive-care doctors' expertise; and McFly Technologies, the company that made rapid industrialisation of the product possible.

The project will help any country that needs to manufacture ventilators locally. It will also be available for makeshift wards and humanitarian missions anywhere in the world.

The number of coronavirus cases is growing exponentially in countries like Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. In Brazil, there are already more than 26,000 daily cases and Chile is close to reaching 5,000, a situation that is overcrowding ICUs.

Key aspects

  • Emergency ventilators for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in ICUs;
  • Design by Frede Jensen, a British engineer with +30 years of experience in R&D and ventilators;
  • Simple technology based on simple pressure control;
  • A simple and robust solution with clear benefits over other proposals;
  • A safe design, it incorporates redundant systems and alarms and has a complete risk analysis;
  • Low cost (about €1,800 per unit);
  • Scalable (readily available components);
  • Easy to use by non-trained professionals.

The solidarity ventilator is designed for 'a fast time to market' since it can be assembled and tested locally in the countries where it is going to be used.

To this end, the electronics and the software can be sent directly from Spain while the remaining components can be acquired at the destination. These differences reduce its cost to about €1,800, while conventional ventilators range from €9,000 to €60,000.

The original design comes from Frede Jensen, a British engineer with vast experience in the development of medical devices and ventilators. This is why OxyVita incorporates a redundant safety system and a complete set of alarms, which allows healthcare staff with no intensive-care experience to use it after a basic 30-minute training session.

As of today, the first Latin American countries where the ventilator has been showcased in industrial companies and institutions include: Chile, Mexico, Brazil, and Ecuador. The initiative is establishing collaborations with medical organisations, NGOs, funding companies, and manufacturers.

Further information