SplitVent Update – March 29

As COVID19 cases pile up, including at the Indiana University hospitals, our team has been working incredibly hard to get a safe and effective split vent system ready for what seems like an inevitable need to ventilate multiple patients with a single ventilator. I’ll keep this as brief as I can.

The major updates from today:

  1. We’re one step closer to a final valve design. Nate Surls, Paul Holland, and Dr. Paul Yearling did an outstanding job designing and prototype printing it.
  2. We’re one step closer to a usable monitoring software. Joe Koberg in Atlanta has done an incredible job hacking a python-based system together heavily leveraging some phenominal open source biosignal processing code from BioPeaks.
  3. We did more lab testing today with only positive outcomes. I created an 8 minute video overview of the system and have posted it to YouTube (or see below).
  4. We reviewed everything with some of the ICU medical leadership at our hospitals as well as respiratory therapy and it sounds like they have the intention to scale up with implementation (still hoping we won’t ever need it). That means we’re going to be placing big orders for sensors and Raspberry Pis. We’re warming up the 3D printing lab and recruiting nible-fingered egineering students to start soldering!
  5. The SplitVent GitHub is now live and is being updated in real-time. This is where you can download the necessary 3D files as well as the source code for the monitoring system.

Things we are working on:

  1. Updates to the monitoring software to bring it out of the pacman era and into the 21st century. We will soon have a full featured graphical display with graphs and nicer display of the relevant information (tidal volume, flows, minute ventilation, etc).
  2. We continue to refine valve and other 3D printed part designs including connectors for the Sensirion sensor.
  3. Documentation and build instructions – we realize that we need to put something together which will be easy and safe enough to use in an actual clinical setting. As we scale up our implementation, all will be shared. This will include reliable places to source everything. This has been a major issue but vendors like Sensirion (sensors) and Adafruit (gadgets, gizmos, and Raspberry Pis) have stepped up to support us; this is an amazing testament to the world rising together in the face of catastrophe.

We’ll do our best to keep you up to date as everything changes in rapid succession. We hope that others will leverage our work so as busy as we are, please please please reach out with questions. We’re all in this together.