In efforts to address the global shortage of medical equipment, notably respirators, the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will start producing medical equipment through the cutting-edge 3D printing method.
A team of researchers, engineers and experts at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi are currently working to develop a cheaper model of a respirator, which would cost only 2 percent of the conventional equipment production price. However, producing such a low cost, between $500 and $800, compared to the usual $30,000 to $50,000, is a feat that is only made possible by producing in large quantities. This is what the 3D printing method will allow, with an expected production volume of 250 units per day.
The coronavirus pandemic is increasing demand rapidly for ventilators to support high-risk Covid-19 patients. A team of researchers from #KhalifaUniversity has risen to the challenge and developed an emergency ventilator prototype in less than a week to fill the gap. pic.twitter.com/IdwIDRe09R
— جامعة خليفة للعلوم والتكنولوجيا (@KhalifaUni) April 6, 2020
Reducing the number of deaths
The idea is, of course, only temporary. It is intended to enable health care staff to make up for the acute shortage of equipment of which they are currently suffering from. Hence, by providing them with respirators that have all the basic functions of state-of-the-art equipment, with only some parts which need to be swapped regularly, the university researchers could save many lives.
They have set a goal of delivering a prototype within two weeks.
A matter of anticipation
Although the number of declared cases across Gulf countries remains lower than in China, the United States or Europe, waiting until hospitals are overwhelmed before initiating response measures is certainly not an option. Moreover, their solution could be replicated around the world, and thus help to halt the increase in the total number of coronavirus victims.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80% of people affected by the virus survive without any hospital stay, but one case in six worsens to the point of requiring respiratory support.