Low-cost ventilator for ICU patients proposed

Published October 3, 2018, 10:24 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Dhel Nazario

A team of specialists in various fields have come up with a less costly ventilator for patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to address its scarcity which leads to unwanted increase in mortality rates.

(photo courtesy of PCHRD-DOST)
(photo courtesy of PCHRD-DOST)

According to the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST), 50 percent of ICU patients need a ventilator.

In many developing countries like the Philippines, there is only 1 ventilator per 10 ICU beds due the prohibitive cost of acquiring a ventilator plus the inaccessibility of spare parts when it breaks. These factors pose a challenge for small hospitals to acquire more units.

A team of critical care specialists, biomedical engineers, software specialists, and biomed technicians came up with Ginhawa (ReliefVent), a ventilator that can be used for both children and adults. It is projected to cost 40 percent lower than other portable ventilators in the market.

Ginhawa is compact, portable, and can be AC or DC powered. It has embedded software for self-diagnostic cloud-based data analytic, with protocols for operations and trouble-shooting.

The product is relatively lightweight weighing eight kilograms and is mainly powered by compressed air. It can do controlled ventilation, assist-control ventilation, and synchronous intermittent mandatory ventilation.

It contains an internal differential pressure transducer for detecting patient inspiratory efforts and refinement of the internal oxygen blender and humidifier, which is uncommon to most of the commercially-available ventilators.

Benchtesting using Michigan Instruments Pneuview Test Lung and animal (dog) studies testing were done, proving its safety and efficacy.

It is currently undergoing human trials.

The proponent is currently seeking a manufacturing company that will add to its value engineering both for the software and hardware, and a partner for its commercialization.