Based on design created for the U.S. Army in the 1960s, device could help fill gap in emergency resources to deliver life-saving patient care during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
Submitted by The Interstate Disaster Medical Collaborative
The Interstate Disaster Medical Collaborative (IDMC), a non-profit organization that provides a forum for collaboration, cooperation and coordination of disaster medical experts, assets and systems, announced today the launch of a scalable, portable 3D-printed ventilator.
The ARMEE™ ventilation device (ARMEEVent.com) which stands for “Automatic Respiration Management Exclusively for Emergencies” is based on technology developed in the 1960s by Harry Diamond Laboratories for the U.S. Army. Experts believe the simply-designed ventilator, which requires no electricity and has no moving parts, can help bridge the gap of urgently needed mechanical ventilation support during the COVID-19 crisis. ARMEE™ also represents an economical, rapidly deployable ventilation tool that can be utilized in almost any kind of emergency or disaster response. To make a donation to this non-profit effort, please go to: ARMEE ventilator project
“The simplicity of the design of ARMEE™ is what makes this device brilliant. It can perform the most essential ventilator functions by providing breathing assistance to patients in need and can do so without electricity,” said Chris Jung, lead engineer on the IDMC project. “It can also be built economically and quickly using easily-accessible materials.”
Overcoming Hurdles and Bridging the Gap
The ARMEE™ device overcomes the hurdles that plague many other device manufacturing efforts by its ability to pull from numerous potential production materials rather than relying on the components required by standard ventilator design. As many U.S.-based and international companies have jumped in to help aid the COVID-19 crisis by mass producing ventilators, they are now being hampered by competition for limited resources and materials, resulting in slower manufacturing processes and longer lead times. Front line medical experts are being told it could be months before they will have access to the newly available ventilators coming offline in the standard ventilator market. The ARMEE™ device is economical to build with an estimated cost of under $100 per unit. It can be mass-produced in a matter of days increasing timely access by front line medical experts.
“As an emergency physician, I have been following reports of supply shortages from around the world including ventilators. I am also faced with contingency plans that involve the moral, ethical and psychological challenges of selective ventilator allocation that I pray I will never have to face,” said Brian Froelke, MD, President of IDMC and East Central Regional EMS Medical Director for Missouri. ”For myself and my colleagues, this device could save us from that one serious challenge and allow us the time and energy to face the other critical aspects of patient care.”
Supplementing, Not Replacing Existing Technology
The purpose of the ARMEE™ device is to bridge gaps and to provide an immediately deployable emergency option for mechanical ventilation to first responders, and emergency medical personnel in situations where access to standardized ventilation is either unavailable or inoperable due to specific local conditions. Because the protocol the engineers and doctors designed can be provided to manufacturers large and small nationwide, production of devices can be ramped up to meet demand within days. To maintain quality and safety standards, once regulatory approval is given, IDMC plans to provide serial numbers to manufacturers so that the resulting products can be easily monitored by the organization for safety and quality improvement initiatives.
The ARMEE™ ventilation device, which stands for “Automatic Respiration Management Exclusively for Emergencies” is based on technology developed in the 1960s by Harry Diamond Laboratories for the U.S. Army. In 2019, NASA published a paper on oscillators similar to ARMEE™. Experts believe the simply-designed ventilator, which requires no electricity, works by harnessing fluid dynamics and contains no moving parts can provide a much needed emergency solution for responders and healthcare providers. ARMEE™ can bridge the gap to provide critically-needed ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and around the world and an emergency solution for future healthcare challenges. To learn more, visit ARMEEVent.com.
The Interstate Disaster Medical Collaborative (IDMC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides a forum for collaboration, cooperation and coordination of disaster medical experts, assets and systems. To learn more, visit IDMC.us