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Ventilator Remote Controller Project

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In conversations with physicians and nurses caring for COVID-19 patients globally, it has become evident that they are understaffed and struggling to keep up with such a large population of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) patients.

The majority of current mechanical ventilation units available to major hospitals worldwide do not provide a feature to remotely control the settings of a given device. Thus, whenever a ventilator needs to be adjusted, a healthcare worker must put on PPE, enter the room to make adjustments, and remove PPE. This PPE must be either disposed of or processed for reuse so that healthcare workers can work safely in non-patient areas.

Furthermore, the process of donning and doffing PPE and entering the room not only takes valuable time for making minor adjustments but also puts the healthcare worker at risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. This situation wastes precious time and resources in a situation of shortage of medical supplies.

Project plan:

We are building a flexible module that can be attached to the outside chassis of a ventilator control touch screen to enable remote control of ventilator settings using an XY drawing robot and remote knob control. On the other side of the glass door, the healthcare worker would have an iPad with the exact same control and could adjust of the setting without needing to go in and out of the room every time. No ventilator hardware or software is modified in this approach.

Relevant Publications or More Information

• Working draft document from Prakash Lab (including ways you can help)

• Prakash Lab website (COVID-19 Response)

• Twitter for Prakash Lab


• Manu Prakash (Bioengineering)