Three biomedical engineering graduates from the University of South Florida in the US have developed a lifesaving medical ventilator to support the Covid-19 crisis.

Carolyna Yamamoto Alves Pinto, Abby Blocker and Jacob Yarinsky have developed the patent-pending prototype device, Eucovent, that allows two patients to be ventilated by a single machine.

Yarinsky said: “I think what stood out most was how relevant a topic ventilation was at the time, and still is today.

“Especially with what you saw happening around the world with Covid-19 and hospitals not having enough ventilators for the numbers of patients they were treating. The project seemed extremely relevant and meaningful.”

The team used dynamic resistance, which restricts the amount of airflow, and time multiplexing techniques to provide a customised co-ventilator.

They used fabricated custom valves which can be adjusted independently to meet each patient’s airflow needs.

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Additionally, they employed the digital signals technique of time multiplexing in the new device, which can alternate between patients and deliver breaths to each patient independently.

The new device doubles the existing capacity of a hospital without requiring additional ventilators and helps in solving the critical shortage of lifesaving ventilators.

Pinto said: “We believe the Eucovent provides many benefits, including cost and safety.

“Compared to a new ventilator, the device is extremely low-cost, making ventilation more accessible and affordable. It also offers a higher level of patient care compared to existing solutions, making it a safer and more reliable option for co-ventilation.”

The team said that the device can also be used in natural disaster settings, remote locations and low-resource areas.