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angle-left Ventilator Challenge: Three finalist teams announced
Code Life

Results of the daring challenge to design a low-cost, easy-to-reproduce ventilator in two weeks

May 6, 2020

Source: Montreal General Hospital Foundation. Montreal, Canada – The Montreal General Hospital Foundation and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre are pleased to announce the three finalist teams for the Code Life Ventilator Challenge. Launched on March 19th, this two-week sprint to design a low-cost, simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-build ventilator that can serve patients suffering from COVID-19, has received more than 2,600 registrations, representing over 1,000 teams from 94 countries.

Of all the ventilator designs received, nine semi-finalists were selected as the most promising. Over the past three weeks, the semi-finalist teams submitted prototypes that were intensely tested, and then refined prior to a second round of testing and evaluation by critical care physicians, respiratory therapists, mechanical engineers and medical device experts to ensure compliance of the design with the specifications and the vision of the Challenge.

The evaluation committee members were unanimously impressed with the submissions and thanked all participants for their dedication to the cause. “It is truly inspiring to see how these teams have been able to achieve so much in so little time and under so many constraints, including operating under COVID protocols and remotely engaging with team members”, remarked Dr. Reza Farivar, Leader of the Code Life Ventilator Challenge.

Following the tests, three finalist prototypes were chosen based on the extensive deliberation of the expert judges that took into consideration the full design, test results, user experience, manufacturability, and cost.

The three finalists are:

Haply: Behind this prototype is a robotics company, Haply, based in Montreal, Canada. In order to design this ventilator, the team collaborated with physicists and engineers from Montreal, London (Ontario), and Kingwood (Texas).

IFPR Brazil: Designed by a team from Paraná, Brazil, the IFPR ventilator uses modern engineering techniques and sophisticated mechanical and electronic components.

Lung Carburetor: Created by a team of experienced medical device designers from Montreal and Havre-Saint-Pierre, Canada, the Lung Carburetor is a low-cost, portable ventilator that can be manufactured locally.

All selected projects are now available for public viewing on the Code Life Ventilator Challenge website www.codelifechallenge.com.

We would like to thank the Challenge Gold Sponsors: MD Financial Management, the Canadian Medical Association, and Scotiabank; the Silver Sponsor: McGill University’s Faculty of Engineering; and our Bronze sponsor, Agorize, who hosted the challenge on their platform.

“We are pleased to support this important initiative, in partnership with the CMA and MD Financial Management,” says Glen Gowland, Group Head, Global Wealth Management, Scotiabank. “We look forward to seeing the impact these winning designs will make on alleviating the strain on the healthcare system in Canada and globally.”

President and CEO of the MGH Foundation, Jean-Guy Gourdeau, explains: “Our mission at the Montreal General Hospital Foundation is to support innovation and excellence in health care, both of which are key characteristics of this challenge. We saw an incredible potential public benefit and were honored to support the Research Institute of the MUHC in this global endeavor. We were only able to do this thanks to the generosity, trust and partnership of our donor community.”

We would also like to thank our Challenge Partners: National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Dassault Systems, Fasken, AON 3D, aPriori and BML Technology.

Prizes

The three finalists will receive $200,000, $100,000 and $50,000 CAD in compensation for their design and for sharing it with the world in the fight against COVID-19. The level of compensation will be determined by the extent to which the individual designs are used and produced in the next six months (i.e., by Oct. 1st). The finalist designs and preliminary manufacturing packages will soon be available to qualified manufacturers around the world at no cost, so that the maximal number of ventilators can be produced to help care for COVID-19 patients that need mechanical ventilation.

Next steps

The next steps are all focused on yielding products that will be used to help patients. Interested manufacturers can already connect with us so that we may share the manufacturing packages as soon as they are ready. We are also preparing a second Challenge specifically to expedite refinement, cost-reduction, and regulatory compliance of the final designs. Stay tuned for more!

Launched in March, the Code Life Ventilator Challenge was a response to the Covid-19 pandemic currently afflicting the planet. At a time when a shortage of ventilators was already being felt in some countries hard hit by the virus, the organizers chose to appeal to the innovative spirit of engineers and scientists from around the world by launching a daring challenge: to design a low-cost and easy to reproduce ventilator in two weeks.

Full details of the challenge are available here: www.codelifechallenge.com

About the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre

The mission of the RI-MUHC is to generate and leverage discovery and innovation to establish the MUHC as a world-class centre of excellence in patient-centred medicine. Excellence in clinical, evaluative and fundamental research will bring the innovations that will transform healthcare, providing an integrated view of disease and patient information with related therapies. Visit: rimuhc.ca

About the Montreal General Hospital Foundation

Since 1973, the Montreal General Hospital Foundation (MGHF) plays a key role within the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and the McGill University Health Centre as a proud sponsor of significant medical R&D and technology development and acquisition. The MGHF now manages the third largest healthcare fund in Quebec, with $160 million in assets. In accordance with the wishes of donors, the funds raised by the MGHF go toward supporting innovation and excellence in patient care, research programs, acquiring cutting-edge equipment, and helping medical teams with their priority needs. Its leadership and strong relationships with the healthcare community have made the MGHF a sound advisor for donors as to where funds are most needed and can have the greatest impact. Visit: Codelife.ca

About Scotiabank, MD Financial Management and the Canadian Medical Association

Scotiabank, MD Financial Management and the Canadian Medical Association together are committed to supporting the medical profession and advancing health in Canada. As proof of this commitment, and in collaboration with the CMA and MD, Scotiabank is investing $115 million over 10 years to support physicians and the communities they serve across Canada.

Media Contact:
Sylvie Riendeau
Director, Communications & Marketing
Montreal General Hospital Foundation
sriendeau@codelife.ca
Tel: 1.514.575.1591