We are living in the middle of the emergency over coronavirus all over the world. The reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on societies and economies around the world cannot be understated. Because an estimated 15% of COVID-19 patients require hospitalization and 5% require intensive care (Z. Wu and McGoogan 2020), the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has the potential of posing a substantial challenge to medical systems around the world (Remuzzi and Remuzzi 2020; Grasselli, Pesenti, and Cecconi 2020).
Necessity is the mother of invention. A need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem. This saying appears in the dialogue Republic, by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato.
“Necessity is the mother of invention” is an English-language proverb. It means, roughly, that the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need. When the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it.
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, many companies have joined the fight to stop the deadly virus by creating and producing various types of medical supplies and healthcare solutions. Clothing companies began to sew aprons and protective N95 masks, chemical companies produced antibacterial gels, public and private universities and research centers started projects to create solutions that would help in a simple and quick way to study and prevent the disease.
Here are some examples of sort of ingenuity we need now in the middle of pandemia. Already many people contributed those efforts. Check out on those links what is already done if you can find any useful information or can contribute to those efforts you see as good idea. Start your reserach with 7 open hardware projects working to solve COVID-19 article.
I have collected here a list of interesting open hardware project and instructions that can be useful or educational. Hopefully this list I have contributed here will be useful for someone. Keep in mind that many of those ideas are potentially dangerous if the instructions are not entirely correct, implemented exactly right and used by people that know what they are doing. You have been warned: Do not try those at home yourself! We are dealing here with things that can easily injure or kill someone if improperly implemented or used – but at right place the best ideas from those could potentially save lives.
Repairing hospital equipment
The right thing to do in his situation is that medical companies to release service manuals for ALL medical equipment so they can be repaired and maintained where they are most needed.
In the face of ventilator shortages for COVID-19 victims, iFixit is looking to make maintaining and repairing equipment as easy as possible. iFixit Launches Central Repository for Hospital Equipment Repair and Maintenance Manuals
Site http://www.frankshospitalworkshop.com offers links many service manuals
COVID-19 pandemic prompts more robot usage worldwide article tells that the coronavirus has increased interest in robots, drones, and artificial intelligence, even as some testing of autonomous vehicles pauses on public roads. It is believed that these technologies can help deal with massive staffing shortages in healthcare, manufacturing, and supply chains; the need for “social distancing;” and diagnosis and treatment.
Here are some robotics related links that could be useful:
Medical robotics expert Guang-Zhong Yang calls for a global effort to develop new types of robots for fighting infectious diseases.
Elements of Robotics Open Access Textbook
A ventilator is a machine designed to provide mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently. Ventilators are sometimes colloquially called “respirators”.
A ventilator, also called a respirator, is designed to provide mechanical ventilation by oxygen into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently. The machines can be used to help a person breath if they have conditions making it difficult to breathe, such as lung diseases, during and post-surgery. For patients critically ill with coronavirus access to a ventilator could be a matter of life or death.
In its simplest form, a modern positive pressure ventilator consists of a compressible air reservoir or turbine, air and oxygen supplies, a set of valves and tubes, and a disposable or reusable “patient circuit”. Modern ventilators are electronically controlled by a small embedded system to allow exact adaptation of pressure and flow characteristics to an individual patient’s needs.
They work by placing a tube in a person’s mouth, nose or small cut in the throat and connect it to a ventilator machine. The air reservoir is pneumatically compressed several times a minute to deliver room-air, or in most cases, an air/oxygen mixture to the patient.
Because failure may result in death, mechanical ventilation systems are classified as a life-critical system, and precautions must be taken to ensure that they are highly reliable. Modern commercial ventilator is a relatively complex piece of equipment with lots of components and a dedicated supply chain.
Because there is a lack of ventilators on many hospitals in several countries, there has been a lot of creative work done to help this problem.
There has been projects going on to repair old and non-working ventilators to a working conditions. For repairing some older devices, there has been problem to get spare parts from the manufacturer and that those spare parts can be very expensive. Also getting the service information for repairing those equipment seems to be hard to get from manufacturer, Ifixit has started a project Help commit industrial espionage for the greater good! to get the service information on-line at https://www.ifixit.com/News/36354/help-us-crowdsource-repair-information-for-hospital-equipment
In middle of the emergency some people have worked on to make their own spare parts when official parts are not available, thus making more devices available. For example a startup 3D-printed emergency breathing valves for COVID-19 patients at an Italian hospital in less than 6 hours. An Italian hospital that ran out of life-saving equipment for coronavirus patients was saved by a ‘hero’ engineer who used cutting-edge technology to design oxygen valves within a matter of hours. At least 10 lives were saved in this way.
So great thinking for 3d printing of valves. Are they sterilized and suitable? 3D printing has been used in numerous cases for medical parts already. Most 3D printing operates at relatively high temperatures and printed objects are actually naturally sterilized when they are made. Anyway the right kind of plastic needs to be selected and the part needs to be built in exactly right way that is works reliably as designed. If they are used and the individual gets worse, does the fact that equipment not medical certified (environment, storage, shipping, etc) put the hospital in additional jeopardy for a lawsuit? All valid questions each medical liability officer will have to address. But if people are going to literally die if you do nothing, then taking a risk with a part that you 3D print seems like an idea that is worth to try.
A startup 3D-printed emergency breathing valves for COVID-19 patients at an Italian hospital in less than 6 hours
Firm ‘refuses to give blueprint’ for coronavirus equipment that could save lives
3D printed life-saving valves: already a dozen in operation
Volunteers produce 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments
Volunteers made the valves for about $1
Another tried trick is try to use one ventilator with more than one patient. Daily Mail writes that ventilators can be modified to help FOUR coronavirus patients breathe at the same time if the NHS is still critically short of the machines when the outbreak peaks, scientists say. Here are some links to material on using one ventilator to more than one patient:
SAVING 4 PATIENTS WITH JUST 1 VENTILATOR
Here has been work going on in creating an open source ventilator design project. Here are some links to this project and some other DIY ventilator designs.
There’s A Shortage Of Ventilators For Coronavirus Patients, So This International Group Invented An Open Source Alternative That’s Being Tested Next Week
Open-source Oxygen Concentrator
Macgyvilator Mk 1 (3-19-2020) – “ventilator” for disasters and/or low resource environments
Macgyvilator Mk 1 is a disaster “ventilator”, a simple apparatus to compress a bag-valve-mask with some control over tidal volume and rate. Constructed quickly and simply using wood, PVC, velcro, common fasteners, and easily sourced and assembled electronic components.
An Arduino based Open Source Ventilator to Fight against COVID-19?
Low-Cost Open Source Ventilator or PAPR
Arduino Respirator Prototype (pen source solution from Reesistencia Team, which is undergoing testing)
“OxyGEN is an open hardware project to build an emergency mechanism that automates an AMBU type manual ventilator in extreme shortage situations such as the one caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) in some parts of the world.”
NOTE: Take a look at the expression VILI before thinking about trying one of these. It is hard making a ventilator that doesn’t harm the lungs. It is easy to get Ventilator-associated lung injury or die if the ventilator does not work exactly correctly all the time.
Testing for infection
There are many approaches thought to be helpful to finding out if someone is infected or something is contaminated.
Thermal scanners are effective in detecting people who have developed a fever (i.e. have a higher than normal body temperature) because of infection with the new coronavirus. However, they cannot detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with fever (it can take 2-10 days before infected people get the fewer).
Open-Source Collaboration Tackles COVID-19 Testing
Low-cost & Open-Source Covid19 Detection kits
This Open Source Device Can Detect Coronavirus on Surfaces
The Chai team has developed a detection test that works with their Open qPCR tool.
Prevent touching face
It is recommended to stop touching your face to minimize spread of coronavirus and other germs. People touch their faces frequently. They wipe their eyes, scratch their noses, bite their nails and twirl their mustaches.
Not touching your face is a simple way to protect yourself from COVID-19, but it’s not easy. If you can reduce face-touching, you can lower people’s chances of catching COVID-19. Why is it so hard to stop? Face-touching rewards us by relieving momentary discomforts like itches and muscle tension.
If you you want to change, you can try to replace it with a competing response that opposes the muscle movements needed to touch your face. When you feel the urge to touch your face, you can clench your fists, sit on your hands, press your palms onto the tops of your thighs or stretch your arms straight down at your sides. Some sources recommend object manipulation, in which you occupy your hands with something else. You can rub your fingertips, fiddle with a pen or squeeze a stress ball.
This pair of Arduino glasses stops you from touching your face
Don’t Touch Your Face
Don’t touch your face — easy to say, hard to do. This device, worn like a watch, will buzz whenever your hand aims for trouble.
Hand sanitizer is a liquid or gel generally used to decrease infectious agents on the hands. It depends on the case if hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer is preferred. For Covid-19 WHO recommends to wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly. Use alcohol-based handrub if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.
It seems that there are many places where there is shortage of hand sanitizers. This has lead to situation where people have resorted to making their own. Recipes for DIY hand sanitizer are popping all over the internet. A quick search reveals news articles, YouTube how-to’s and step-by-step visual guides. But think twice about joining them — experts are wary and even caution against the idea. The World Health Organization even has an official guide to making hand sanitizer. But it’s intended for populations that do not have clean water or other medical-grade products in place. Don’t try to make your own hand sanitizer just because there’s a shortage from coronavirus.
Can’t get your hands on hand sanitizer? Make your own
Photos show why hand sanitizer doesn’t work as well as soap and water to remove germs
Emergency DIY hand sanitizers (read the description)
“Every time a new health incident occurs there’s a rush on hand sanitizers, often causing shops to sell out.
Here’s how to make some simple emergency sanitizers at home, noting that they are not as effective as just washing your hands, and only some viruses can be damaged by simple sanitizers. These options are offered as a last resort when commercial versions are not available.”
“For the alcohol one the higher the percentage of alcohol the better, up to around 70-80%.”
Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer At Home When It’s Sold Out Everywhere
With deadly coronavirus spreading worldwide at an alarming speed, personal hygiene has become paramount importance to contain the infection spread further. Mobile phones are known to house several germ, and if you thing they are contaminated, you should maybe disinfect them. The CDC recommends that everyone “clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day” to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
How to Disinfect Your Smartphone article says CDC recommends that for your smartphone you should use 70% rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based disinfectant spray to wipe down the back and sides of your device. For example Apple recently updated its official cleaning advice, so ccording to Apple, it’s now safe to clean your iPhone with disinfecting wipes if you do it correctly. You should not try to spray any liquid to your phone.
The other option is to use a smartphone sanitizer device that cleans using UV rays. Sanitizers that use ultraviolet (UV) rays to kill bacteria and viruses have been around for a while now and they can kill 99% of bacteria in as little as five minutes. However its efficacy hasn’t been tested against nasties like SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Coronavirus effect: Samsung offers UV-C sanitizing service for Galaxy devices. Samsung is using Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) disinfection technology, which uses of uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate bacteria, virus, molds and other pathogenic microorganisms on smartphones.
The UV-C light is capable of destroying nucleic acids and DNA. It will kill many things, but you don’t want that hitting your eye or skin. World Health Organization only states: “UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands, or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.”
Here are some UV C related links:
The protective mask ratings used by hospitals are typically N95, FFP2 or FFP3. FFP2 protection level is 94%. FFP3 protection level is 99%. N95 protection level is 95%. An N95 FFR is a type of respirator which removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out all types of particles, including bacteria and viruses. The N95 mask is mainly for use if you already have the virus to keep it from spreading and many have argued that coronavirus is smaller than the 0.3 micron filter rating of the mask and thus, not that helpful, for people outside of healthcare. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General wants consumers to stop buying masks.
Due to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, there has been a huge shortage of N95 masks. Promoting simple do-it-yourself masks: an urgent intervention for COVID-19 mitigation claims that widespread use of masks by the general population could be an effective strategy for slowing down the spread of COVID-19: “Since surgical masks might not become available in sufficient numbers quickly enough for general use and sufficient compliance with wearing surgical masks might not be possible everywhere, we argue that simple do-it-yourself designs or commercially available cloth masks could reduce the spread of infection at minimal costs to society”.
With masks sold out during the coronavirus outbreak, many people will have to make do with what some scientists have called “the last resort”: the DIY mask. Many people have been working on designs for a DIY mask that may be able to protect those who haven’t been able to secure their own masks. It seems that cotton homemade masks may be quite effective as alternatives and there are also other ideas. For any DIY ideas, be warned that there is no guarantee that those designs are effective. So I don’t recommend to use them as alternative to proper mask when they are available. Bit of proper marks are not available, they can be better than nothing.
Keep in mind the right filter type to use: Hepa filters do have the ability to filter particles and viruses, but they wont protect you 100% of the time. The real secret is layers. The problem is, more layers, more restriction. Keep in mind that charcoal filters will make your air fresher, but have almost no effect on cleaning the air of viruses. Coronavirus virions (or ‘particles’) are spherical particles with diameters of approximately 125 nm (0.125 microns). The smallest particles are 0.06 microns, and the largest are 0.14 microns. This means coronavirus particles are smaller than PM2.5 particles, but bigger than some dust particles and gases.
Guide to Dust Mask Ratings
Can Masks Protect People from The Coronavirus?
DIY project links:
Homemade N95 Masks In A Time Of Shortage
“According to a studied performed at Cambridge University during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, while surgical masks perform the best at capturing Bacillus atrophaeus bacteria (0.93-1.25 microns) and Bacteriophage MS virus (0.023 microns), vacuum cleaner bags, tea towels, and cotton T-shirts were not too far behind. The coronavirus is 0.1-0.2 microns, well within the range for the results of the tests.”
What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?
“Data shows that DIY and homemade masks are effective at capturing viruses. But if forced to make our own mask, what material is best suited to make a mask? As the coronavirus spread around China, netizens reported making masks with tissue paper, kitchen towels, cotton clothing, and even oranges!”
Can DIY Masks Protect Us from Coronavirus?
“DIY masks to protect against from viruses sounds like a crazy idea. Data shows masks work incredibly well, and they’re also really cheap. Surgical masks cost a few pennies, and they’re capable of filtering out 80% of particles down to 0.007 microns (14 times smaller than the coronavirus).”
“The homemade cotton masks captured 50% of 0.02-1 micron particles, compared with 80% for the surgical mask. Although the surgical masks captured 30% more particles, the cotton masks did surprisingly well. The researchers concluded that homemade masks would be better than nothing.”
“The Cambridge data shows that homemade masks made using cotton t-shirts can filter out some particles that are 0.02–1 microns in size. That’s pretty good, however its only one test.”
Professional and Home-Made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections among the General Population
Can Masks Protect People from The Coronavirus?
This old hack doesn’t require any cutting or sewing:
Copper 3D makes the free N95 mask design to fight COVID-19 pandemic spread
“Copper 3D – A Chilean manufacturer of innovative antibacterial filaments designed the own version of the popular N95 protective mask and prepared it perfectly optimized for 3D printing on desktop 3D printers of the FDM / FFF type. The project is released under an open-source license and has been simultaneously patent pending to prevent other entities from commercializing it.”
“Copper 3D team quickly got to work on developing the patent for a model similar to a standard N95 mask but with some peculiarities (Antiviral, Reusable, Modular, Washable, Recyclable, Low-Cost), which were completely designed in a digital environment so that it could be downloaded anywhere in the world and 3D printed with any FDM/FFF equipment, even a low cost one. The mask was called “NanoHack”.”
#HackThePandemic site offers the technical details of the N95 mask and download set of STL files for printing on own 3D printer
“This is NOT a straight replacement for a N95 mask. In a real emergency it is recommended to combine a full face shield with a filter mask.”
Prusa Protective Face Shield – RC2
“In a real emergency it is recommended to combine a full face shield with a filter mask.”
Promoting simple do-it-yourself masks: an urgent intervention for COVID-19 mitigation
“Since surgical masks might not become available in sufficient numbers quickly enough for general use and sufficient compliance with wearing surgical masks might not be possible everywhere, we argue that simple do-it-yourself designs or commercially available cloth masks could reduce the spread of infection at minimal costs to society”
“Potentially, simply wrapping a suitable, large cloth around the face is easy to implement (Fig. 2), would arguably be more socially acceptable than surgical masks, and would be superior to a complete lack of face mask use.”