COVID-19: Initiatives

Current Work

The DMF group has been completing several streams of work investigating solutions to problems posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This has resulted in Project Clean Access, other DMF work and crowd-sourced solutions (in the form of “Clean Access Challenges”). We have also tried to summarise some of the core work below.

Other COVID19 Projects and Information

Please see the list below for projects you and your company may be able to help with. We will endeavour to keep this list as up to date as possible over the coming weeks and months.

1.    MHRA Spec

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, a subsidiary of the UK government, has produced a document detailing the minimum requirements of a ventilator to be used in NHS hospitals during the current pandemic. This document can be found through the link below and via the blog post here. We have also distilled this document into a PDS style requirements document. This should be considered a live document and will be updated regularly.

The most difficult part of the specification for us are the levels of control and sensing required. These elements would require hardware testing and refinement that are not currently possible given our working arrangements. These elements would require input from electronic engineers and specialists with experience in medical devices.

2.    Royal Society Rapid Review

This is an effort being led by the Royal Society to have a rapid review schedule for papers submitted on work around COVID-19 where work will be reviewed within 24-48 hours post-submission. More information for reviews and authors can be found through the link.

UPDATE 27/09/20: The rapid response network is approaching 900 reviewers and has published their third completed Stage 2 submission (with results).

3.    Oxvent

This is a project run between the University of Oxford and King’s College London. It is a multidisciplinary team of medics and engineers aiming to produce a ventilator to fill the shortfall health care systems across the world are anticipating and experiencing.

UPDATE 02/07/20: Oxvent’s latest blog post outlined their objectives for Design Verification Testing in Hull

4.    Prusa Medical Shields

The open-source 3D printing company, Prusa, has started to use its 3D printer farm to print open source components for face shields. It is currently producing 800/day using 1/5th of its printing capability. The safety of the mask is currently being verified. Several suggestions are provided on Prusa’s website on how to print the parts along with handling.

UPDATE 10/06/20: Over 200,000 face shields have been distributed and a refined design, the PRUSA PRO Face shield, has been developed

5.    Ultimaker Support

Ultimaker are offering their support, with regards to design and printing, via their website. This is being done globally and locally. You are also able to offer your support through the Ultimaker website.

UPDATE 27/01/21: This initiative is ongoing

6.    OpenSource COVID19 Medical Supplies Group

A Facebook group has come into existence where people around the world are sharing their designs and makes for technology related to the pandemic. This can be found through the link below.

UPDATE 27/01/21: This group is still actively posting, providing and requesting support for COVID-19 initiatives

7.    List of Working Groups

The University of Cambridge Information Management group has created a list of working groups. This can be found here:

These groups cover design, manufacture, testing and research review.

8.    Welsh Rapid Ventilator

The Welsh government has given the green light, and successfully tested, a new, rapidly designed ventilator. Although this does not meet the specification required for use in ICU wards it is considered an important contribution to reduce the demand on ICU beds. More information on this can be seen here.

9.    UK Companies

Several large UK engineering organisations are also developing designs. Two of the most advanced are G-Tech, who are nearing production ready and have been asked to manufacture 30,000, and Dyson who have had an order of 10,000 placed by the UK government.

Several other engineering companies are dedicating resource to this effort on both design and manufacture, inc. Airbus (production), Dyson (design), several F1 teams (production), and several smaller manufacturers.

UPDATE 20/06/20: Mercedes-AMG HPP has produced a video summarising their contribution to the UK ventilator challenge:

10. Hackaday: Ventilators 101

Hackaday have written an article on how people breath, how ventilators help and how they are used. It’s a very interesting read and highly recommended for any group looking to design and build a ventilator for the current pandemic. Thanks to Field Ready for sending the link to us.

Page last updated: 27/01/2021

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