May 9, 2020 Last updated May 11th, 2020 98 Reads share

How HealthOS and Shervin Pishevar are Using 3D Printing to Tackle the Coronavirus Crisis

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

All over the world, the coronavirus crisis has transformed our lives. Only a select few of us are still commuting to an office, with only a handful of workers at essential businesses living anything resembling life as we knew it only a matter of weeks ago. Many have been laid off and are awaiting government assistance, while others are trying to figure out how to keep their businesses open in this tumultuous time. 

However, these struggles pale in comparison to the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are now struggling to survive the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, which can have symptoms ranging from mild to critical. For many, this can simply feel like a cold, but for others, it can require intubation, a process that vaporizes viruses built up in patients’ lungs using breathing tubes. 

Intubation can help save lives, but it also puts America’s healthcare workers at risk. In the weeks since the coronavirus outbreak hit the United States, there have been countless runs on cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer, paper towels, and toilet paper, but the medical community has been hit much harder. On the front lines of defense against the novel coronavirus, doctors and nurses are finding themselves without masks that provide adequate respiratory protection and ventilators to help patients breathe In fact, many hospitals have only one or two when they need far more to deal with the number of severe and critical cases they are facing. 

Enter Shervin Pishevar. The scientist turned investor who has lent his capital and expertise to companies like Edison, Uber, Airbnb, Cue, Pillpack, Curology, DrOnDemand, Quip, Hyperloop, Astra, Stara, and Postmates, among many others, is working tirelessly to address the massive gap in necessary supplies and replace necessary medical equipment as hospitals burn through it. 

Working alongside Edison HealthOS, Pishevar has taken a number of steps to help make a difference in this terrible time. First, Pishevar has donated $100,000 from his family foundation to fund production of supplies on a project led by Dr. Sarah Haynes to produce over 1,000 new ventilators. How is he doing it? The answer is simple: 3D printing. Using 20 3D printers located in Brooklyn, New York, Pishevar is printing 15 pieces, which can be assembled into a single ventilator. 

Next, he’s taking this project to the streets. Pishevar has reached out to engineers, volunteers and hobbyists who have access to 3D printers to start printing and donating their own ventilator components using open sourced, freely and publicly available instructions. As he sees it, the biggest bottleneck in scaling ventilator production is a need for more 3D printers, as over 5,000 ventilators could be manufactured in a week if 1,000 printers were being used simultaneously to address this problem. 

HealthOS’s solution may not yet have government approval, but neither do any of the other lifesaving treatments for patients suffering severe symptoms, including a number of drugs, early stage vaccines, or plasma transfusions from survivors of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. 

At HealthOSNetwork.com, volunteers can download 3D printing instructions for a simple bellows-based ventilator powered by two geared motors with speed control, and which will soon be expanded to allow for dual ventilation from one unit. Volunteers can also print an open sourced medical mask, which is a woven membrane covering an N95 respiratory filter – the type that is effective as a means of protection against the novel coronavirus. It is also possible to print a visor, which can add even greater protection for nurses, doctors, and others facing patients suffering from symptoms on a daily basis. 

HealthOS’s innovations have come a long way in an incredibly short period of time. The group’s first ventilator was printed and proven working on March 24, 2020, demonstrating the power of entrepreneurship, talent, engineering know-how, and innovation as a way to face the crises of this era head-on instead of waiting for a bailout, chasing price gougers who are trying to make a massive profit off of medical supplies, or simply facing a major threat unprotected. 

In the weeks to come, Pishevar plans to expand his focus beyond 3D printed solutions to help accelerate the development of at-home, rapid coronavirus testing – the one thing that will do more to keep professionals safe, give citizens of the world peace of mind, and help our lives and economy go back to normal after a period of profound uncertainty and fear. 

However, in the meantime, if you have access to 3D printing equipment, you can stop standing on the sidelines, take action, and begin producing ventilator parts and masks today. By getting in touch with the HealthOS team, you can find out how to use your resources to make a massive difference in your community – and all but certainly help to save lives in a moment that has truly brought us all together. 

3d printer -DepositPhotos

David Fournier

David Fournier

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