Medtronic Portable Ventilator Design Shared Publicly
Medtronic, a healthcare and biomedical company, has had discussions with the Tesla CEO Elon Musk about the automaker’s potential plans to build a ventilator harder in order to address the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Now, the company has shared its Puritan Bennett (PB) 560 portable ventilator hardware’s full design details, design documents, product manuals, and its software code in the future to the world, the details have been shared publicly.
One of the many advantages of PB 500 ventilator is that it is a relatively compact and lightweight piece of equipment and thus, it can be used in a range of different healthcare settings and the environment as it can be easily moved around. It has a decade of qualified and safe medical use in treating patients as its design was originally introduced in 2010.
This move by Medtronic makes everything needed to spin up new production lines at existing manufactures around the world freely available without Medtronic owing any costs or fees.
No matter what kind of design specifications anybody is starting with, it is still obviously true that retooling a production line to build a different product is going to be an undertaking. Medtronic also intends to provide a blueprint to spawn new and innovative ideas, the resources required for anyone looking at what they can build through this initiative. Looking at Medtronic’s proven design, manufacturers will be able to engineer and design something they can build at scale relatively quick which can offer the same or similar characteristics of the performance.
External Communications Director at the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic, John Jordan said, “To enable participants across industries to evaluate options for rapid ventilator manufacturing to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19, we are sharing the design specifications for the [PB 560].”
He mentioned that while the company has ventilators like PB 980 and PB 840 which are more complex ventilator hardware, more than 1,500 components and skilled, specialized workforce are required for such ventilators. For companies newer to the field looking to pivot to ventilator manufacturing with limited or no prior experience, the PB 560 with its smaller, simplified design is the best candidate.
Medtronic is issuing a special “permissive license” specifically for the purposes of addressing this global coronavirus pandemic and it’s not exactly open-sourcing PB 560’s design. Till October 1, 2024, or when the World Health Organization’s official Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is declared over, this initiative’s term will end.
Even if it is only for a fixed time frame, it is important to note that such a step by for-profit corporations like Medtronic shows the extent and seriousness of the COVID-19.
Any hardware maker or startup can register here to agree to the license and get access to the files and to check the plans for the PB 560 and potentially using them to build their equipment.
Medtronic portable ventilator design