Design Engineering

CoVent-19 ventilator design challenge launches

By DE Staff   

General Medical

Boston physicians’ eight-week hackathon tasks engineers everywhere to submit designs for a rapidly deployable ventilator.

Although the Canadian Code Life Ventilator Challenge has closed for new entries, anesthesiology residents in Boston have launched an eight-week hackathon hosted on to design a rapidly deployable, minimum viable mechanical ventilator.

According to organizers, the CoVent-19 Challenge is open to any and all teams and individuals anywhere. Those projects chosen as finalists will work directly with the CoVent-19 Challenge team to turn their designs into prototypes for testing.

“As anesthesiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital, we are experts at using ventilators to care for critically ill patients, so it was natural for us to feel an immediate calling to do something about the ventilator shortage,” said Dr. Richard Boyer, founder and director of the CoVent-19 Challenge. “We’ve been watching as countries around the world struggle with providing invasive mechanical ventilation to all who need it. Despite the important efforts by ventilator manufacturers to ramp up their own production, there’s a need for a solution particularly for areas where standard mechanical ventilators may be hard to obtain.”

Opened on April 1, submissions for the challenge will be coordinated through the″>GrabCAD CoVent-19 Challenge site. The initial round is scheduled to run for four weeks, with a panel of judges assessing submitted ventilator designs for safety, reliability, and manufacturability, while minimizing cost and complex software and electronics.


In the following four-week, invitation-only round, 20 finalist teams will work with medical and technical experts to develop and test functional prototypes. The CoVent-19 Challenge team is working with private and public sector partners to be able to expedite U.S. government approval of a winning design. The team has also secured experts in regulatory measures and safety testing to ensure all products meet U.S. and international standards.


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