VEMERS 2.0: upgrading of an emergency use ventilator from a single mandatory volume control mode of ventilation (VEMERS 1.0) to 8 modes of ventilationRevista : Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación
The upgrading of an emergency use ventilator from a single mandatory volume control mode of ventilation (VEMERS 1.0) to 8 modes of ventilation (VEMERS 2.0) is described. The original VEMERS 1.0 was developed in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis in Chile (April to August 2020) following special but nonetheless strict guidelines specified by local medical associations and national health and scientific ministries. The upgrade to 8 modes of ventilation in VEMERS 2.0 was made possible with minor but transcendental changes to the original architecture. The main contribution of this research is that starting from a functional block diagram of an ICU mechanical ventilator and carrying a systematic analysis, the main function blocks are implemented in such a way that combinations of standard off-the-shelf pneumatic and electronic components can be used. This approach has both economical and technical advantages. No special parts need to be fabricated at all, and because of a wider variety of options, the use of extensively field-proven off-the-shelf commercial components assures better availability and lower costs when compared to that of conventional ICU mechanical ventilators, without sacrificing reliability. Given the promising results obtained with VEMERS 2.0 in the subsequent national certification process, the production of 40 VEMERS 2.0 units was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Economy. Twenty units have been distributed among hospitals along the country. The purpose of VEMERS 2.0, as a low-cost but very reliable option, is to increase the number of mechanical ventilators available (3,000 for a population of 18,000,000) in the country to eventually reach a ratio similar to that of more developed countries. VEMERS is an open-source project for others to use the knowledge gained.