VentilatorProject.Org has joined the Rhode Island Commerce Corp., the University of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Department of Health, fire stations and other hospital and industry partners across the state to collect and refit sleep apnea (CPAP) and BiPAP machines to serve as ventilators to help those affected by COVID-19. We have been coordinating with doctors around the world to collect, vet and document innovative uses of these machines to function as effective ventilators for COVID-19 patients in intensive care settings without exposing health care workers to aerosolized virus.
“Rhode Island Commerce is grateful to be collaborating with everybody who is contributing to the Community CPAP/BiPAP Drive including VentilatorProject.org, which has swiftly and creatively responded to this pandemic,” said Pete Rumsey, co-lead of the Ventilator Task Force within the state’s COVID-19 Working Group, and who also serves as director of the Innovation Campus for the Rhode Island Commerce Corp. “Please donate your extra machine and let’s work together to help our community breathe.” adds Rumsey.
About the team
We are a group of a committed group of volunteers, including engineers, designers, technologists, and doctors who have recognized that the effort to gather and modify sleep apnea (CPAP) and BiPAP machines as a critical strategy solution to the ventilator shortage. VentilatorProject.org, led by Alex Hornstein, has grown to 60 volunteers who have been working around the clock researching and testing the technology, designing this drive, and coordinating with medical professionals and innovative public servants. “It’s amazing how friends, family and talented strangers around the world have quickly come together to rise to this great challenge that faces us all. Our tight-knit community in the nation’s smallest state has been a great asset, allowing us to quickly and effectively reach and work with key COVID-19 responders across our state” says Hornstein.
About CPAP and BiPAP machines
2.9 million* sleep apnea (CPAP) and BiPAP machines are not currently in use in the United States that could be used as a backup to fill the gap before the hospital ventilators arrive. There are an estimated 9,000 extra machines available in Rhode Island.
CPAP by itself is not an effective treatment against COVID-19, but off-the-shelf, CPAP or BiPAP machines can be used off-label in accordance with a protocol developed as part of a phase 1 clinical trial at the University of Chicago to apply PEEP to ARDS patients in an oxygen hood with a viral filter.
About the Refit Technology
Innovative doctors working on COVID-19 response have developed ways to connect CPAP and BiPAP machines to patients using parts commonly available in hospital supply chains. In conjunction with these techniques, we are developing a modular ICU alarm and tidal flow meter to allow safe monitoring of the devices in an ICU setting.
We are actively undergoing FDA compliance and diligently researching our modification designs. The FDA issued a guidance to accelerate efforts like this for doctors in the front-line who would be ready to use home BiPAP and CPAP units to treat patients suffering from COVID-19. New York City doctors recently issued a protocol for using BiPAP-ST machines in a hospital setting, and that protocol is being used right now to treat COVID patients in New York City. We thank everyone who has supported this urgent effort.
About our Collaborations:
Member of the Ventilator Taskforce under the COVID-19 working group in the state of Rhode Island
Coordinating closely with doctors and hospitals in RI, MA, NY, CA and CO
In collaboration with Rhode Island CAommerce, the University of Rhode Island Division of Research and Economic Development and URI Ventures, [
Hope Artiste Village
CPAP.com largest distributor of CPAP/BiPAP systems in the country