The problem your project solves

Hospitals fighting the novel coronavirus are not only experiencing shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment​ but also of infusion pumps critical for providing medications and fluids to the growing number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. While the demand for medical supplies is rising, the regular production lines are severely impacted by the current disruption in import and transportation, and the shortages will not be resolved fast enough.

The solution you bring to the table

Our solution is a DIY syringe pump built on Lego Architecture in less than 30 minutes thanks to "Ikea style" instructions. The Lego Mindstorms EV3 box is readily available worldwide and is not affected by the massive disruption of the medical supply chain.

What you have done during the weekend

We started the Hackathon with the benefit of a proof-of-concept device that was able to move the plunger of a syringe. Our aim this weekend was to meet a key technical requirement: to demonstrate a steady flow rate in the target range. Our purpose here is to prove that our concept has a sound potential, in order to access the resources required to develop an actual prototype and draw the interest of universities and medical institutions.

The solution’s impact to the crisis

As the number COVID-19 patients increases so does the needs for vital medical equipment like ventilators. In critical care, each patient on ventilation also requires from 6 to 10 syringe pumps. The proposed solution is to build Lego pumps for specific medical care departments that do not require extreme operating accuracy, for instance oncology or palliative care departments. This would allow hospitals to allocate crucial equipment to the patients that need it the most while maintaining proper care for both the patients and the staff.

The necessities in order to continue the project

Our main learning was that to overcome the limitations of our hardware we need to exploit its full potential through outstanding software solutions. In order to take big steps forward, we'll need additional human resources, additional hardware/equipment, support from medical organisation(s) and support from engineering universities/institutes such as EPFL, MIT or Georgia Tech.

The value of your solution(s) after the crisis

Our solution will be readily applicable in the eventuality of a second wave of coronavirus pandemics in Europe. In Africa, it seems that the first wave will be over in a few weeks for North Africa countries but that subsaharan african countries could still benefit from our project. Unfortunately, we can also expect more new pandemics, for them to spread more quickly, and to reach a higher percentage of the world’s people. This means Europe definitely should prepare itself for the kind of event where our devices will prove valuable.

The URL to the prototype

The URL to the pitchvideo

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