Open Source teams tackling the health impacts of COVID-19

Two things about Open Source that excite and motivate us are the many different ways that the open source philosophy is being applied to solve global challenges; and the strength of the community.

We’re shining a spotlight on the work of a team that embodies both of these ideals in these challenging times as the world tries to deal with the impacts of COVID-19: the Open Source Ventilator (OSV) Ireland project.

Developing a Field Emergency Ventilator and other medical supplies

The OSV Ireland Project has been created by a team of volunteers who are working to develop a low-cost and open-source ventilator to help save lives and aid the recovery of COVID-19 patients.

The Open Source Ventilator Ireland project was initiated as a result of a community discussion within a Facebook group called Open Source COVID-19 Medical Supplies (OSCMS). This group rapidly grew and currently is targeting the development of a number of different COVID-19 related medical supplies. OSV Ireland was formed by Colin Keogh, Conall Laverty & David Pollard, with the goal of building a focused team in Ireland to begin development of a Field Emergency Ventilator (FEV) in partnership with the Irish Health Service.

OSV Ireland

Addressing the need for low-cost medical supplies

OSV Ireland’s mission is to develop a Field Emergency Ventilator (FEV) system to be used in an emergency situation, where a large number of basic ventilator systems are required. They are working closely with a core design team of 20+ area experts, external organisations and other open source groups to develop a number of viable concepts for testing.

The overall goal is to develop & design a simplified, low-cost and open-source emergency-use ventilator, producible at scale to aid the treatment of COVID-19 patients. It is intended to be a simple, reliable, safe and easy to use device that consists mostly of 3D printed parts and uses a Bag Valve Mask (BVM). This is an emergency field solution that can be relatively easily mass produced with certified components and rapidly deployed by general care workers on the front-line fight against COVID-19.

OSV Ireland’s goal is to develop a range of prototyped, tested and medically validated solutions ready for emergency use globally. They have formed a team of engineers, designers and medical practitioners to develop new, low resource interventions, all working collaboratively online. They will also include other challenges and problems as they arise from frontline healthcare workers, which they will encourage their volunteers to tackle.

Global collaboration

Work is well underway with hundreds of worldwide contributors. This open source design project is consolidating findings from experts globally to accelerate the development of working prototypes. Working closely with OpenLung Canada, and their designers, a number of concepts are being finalised for prototyping and testing. The project fully embraces the Open Source ideal, with all files made available online as the project progresses, on Slack, Github and Google Docs.

OSV Ireland have a core developer team publishing open source designs with ongoing communication with medical professionals regarding needs requirements, testing and validation processes. 

OSV Ireland resources

Getting involved

If this is a challenge that inspires you, Register to get involved.

Your skills will be mapped to key challenges that the OSV Ireland team is facing in bringing this concept to reality, from prototyping to production.

Are you aware of other Open Source teams that are working to tackle the global challenges and impacts of COVID-19?
Let us know about their projects in the Comments section below. exists to create an environment that supports and enables entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, with the aim of taking the next step in small satellite capabilities.
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