From Prototypes to Production

Our Air To All community (now 500+ members on Discord!) is already working on three emergency ventilators to address the global ventilator shortage:

  • Model A+ designs are simple ventilator prototypes with a few key upgrades including alarms and pressure sensors to assist health professionals and streamlined designs to accelerate manufacturing cycles.
  • Model B designs are a new type of ventilator created for global scale. They’re almost as cheap as the Model As ($500 vs. $150), and they have almost as many features as the Model Ms (see: Model B Product Requirements Document). Model Bs can be the best of both worlds between the much less safe Model As and the much more expensive Model Ms.
  • Model M- designs are older or stripped down medical-grade ventilators. Like a 1990s F-150, you get a lot of functionality for under $5,000. The problem is that a lot of Model M- ventilators, including many of the ones in the national stockpile, haven’t been run in years and might not work without major maintenance. Our job here is to help ramp production of old Model M designs and help efficiently route existing Model M ventilator supply where it’s most needed.

We’re also designing our own Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR).

  • PAPRs are reusable alternatives to disposable masks like N95s. We estimate that 1 PAPR can replace over 100 disposable N95 masks.
  • PAPRs will protect healthcare workers, first responders, and service workers who have to keep working while being exposed to COVID-19 in their essential jobs.

And because we can’t wait until these emergency ventilator and respirator designs are done to build our supply chain, we already have 8 teams on it:

  • Public Health: Organizing clinical and engineering requirements for our designs and writing recommendations like this white paper for the strategic response to the global ventilator shortage.
  • Engineering: Leading product design and requirements for our respirator and ventilator models. Subteams include mechanical, electrical, firmware, and microcontroller.
  • Medical Consult: A team of doctors and respiratory therapists who regularly assist our engineering teams with design reviews and user testing.
  • Compliance: Pre-testing, testing, and validation of engineering prototypes vs. emergency government and NGO standards.
  • Regulatory: Works with government officials at FDA, NIOSH, and other regulatory bodies to proactively find efficient paths to market.
  • Supply Chain: Identifies raw materials constraints and coordinates with engineering and manufacturing teams to shorten product development timelines.
  • Manufacturing: Organizes raw materials and finished product manufacturing through known contract manufacturers in the United States and globally.
  • Distribution: Most emergency ventilators will be deployed by governments and NGOs. Our distribution team identifies who needs these devices and gets them delivered.

And we have 5 more teams who manage our 100% remote and globally distributed community and non-profit:

  • IT: Builds our website, runs software projects like our ventilator registry, and manages our communications channels.
  • Community: Leads our Discord community, runs our team meetings and project organization, and connects new volunteers to teams who need their help.
  • Communications: Creates our articles, images, and videos, runs our social media and PR, and shares our mission and story internally and externally.
  • Finance: Raises money, writes grant applications, completes reimbursements, and manages our accounting and financial filings.
  • Legal: Files our formation documents and non-profit applications, writes our contributor and volunteer agreements, and leads our open source IP strategy.

You can fight the COVID-19 crisis and help end the global shortage of medical devices: