Technology companies big and small are springing into action to help fight COVID-19 in any way possible. Giants like Tesla and Dyson have shifted gears to making ventilators, and boutique PC maker Maingear just announced that it's created a compact ventilator called LIV it claims costs 25 percent that of "typical ventilators."
Maingear CEO Wallace Santos shared the below video showing how LIV works. The "portable modern emergency ventilator" is made using off-the-shelf parts, including 3D printed pieces, PC components, and an NVIDIA Shield Android tablet for monitoring vital signs. In the video, the LIV is hooked up to a simulation lung.
On its website, Maingear says the LIV operates on "a platform that is currently being used in the field in Italy and Switzerland, the MAINGEAR LIV is an emergency pulmonary ventilator that was engineered specifically in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic."
"Even without the tablet, the unit is still fully operational," says Santos. "There's a lot of safety features built in. There's redundant power supplies... multiple alarms in case of oxygen cutoff, etc."
Cheaper cost — A typical ventilator can cost anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000.
In a tweet, Santos told me the LIV costs "about $7K."
"Being that we're 15 miles away from New York City, we wanted to make a difference," says Santos. "We very quickly composed a board of medical advisors within a matter of two weeks to build what we're showing off today."
Santos didn't say how many LIVs Maingear plans to produce. "We're using technologies like 3D printing so we can scale production very quickly."
UNITED AGAINST COVID-19 — Maingear's LIV — assuming it can really scale production — could help save tens of thousands or even millions of lives as the number of sick outstrip the number of ventilators that are available.
In addition to Dyson and Tesla, automakers GM and Ford are also building ventilators.
Where possible, companies from all industries are stepping up to meet the global challenge against COVID-19. Apple has sourced over 20 million face masks and is producing 1 million face shields every week. Nike is making face shields as well. New Balance is producing masks. In this extreme time, healthcare professionals in the front-lines need all the help they can get.
As of April 10, there are now over 1.6 million coronavirus cases and over 97,000 deaths with the pandemic worsening at an alarming rate in the U.S.
In the U.S., the coronavirus has now infected over 469,000 people and claimed over 16,000 lives. New York has been hit the hardest with largest sick and death count: over 87,000 ill and 5,200 dead. Earlier this week, New York City reported a record 800 people died in one day from the coronavirus.
While President Trump is clearly in denial of the severity of COVID-19 — no fit president would be spending this critical time attacking media and comparing White House press briefing viewership numbers to The Bachelor — it's also obvious that this pandemic is no joking matter. Elon Musk's "coronavirus panic is dumb" tweet isn't aging well at all.