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Supporting ventilation, everywhere.

Open Letter to Citizens and Entrepreneurs

UPDATE: The US FDA authorizes the MVM within the scope of the emergency use authorization. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a rapidly increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 pathologies across the world, with severe pneumonia as a common and often deadly outcome.  Approximately 6% of those people infected with the virus can become severely ill with complications including pneumonia.  At this point, the patient could need help to breathe.  Effective medical intervention in this pathology requires the use of mechanical ventilation. An automated mechanical ventilator is used in hospitals to pump oxygen into the lungs and then to remove carbon dioxide as the patient breathes out. Existing production lines cannot meet the local and global needs.

In the heart of the beautiful land of the “I Promessi Sposi” novel, in the place hit four hundred years ago by the Milan Plague, history repeats itself.  The Healthcare System of Lombardy Region, one of the best in the world, is overwhelmed and strained.  The same could happen were the pandemic to strike with the same force in less fortunate regions or underdeveloped countries.

Today, the medical personnel of Lombardy represent the key of Manzoni’s novel: La Speranza, The Hope.  Every life is worth saving, old and young alike, in Bergamo, Lecco, Milan, and anywhere else in the world.  No human being should be denied proper care because of a lack of medical devices.

Ventilators on the market today are expensive machines with proprietary designs and complex controls.
We need to develop a new technology, simple to deploy and use, yet safe and reliable, and especially apt to be replicated on a very large scale.  This will allow us to boost the availability of mechanical ventilators, in Italy today and wherever the need will be tomorrow.

A group of researchers set aside their studies on the small and large scale structures in the Universe to focus their creativity and energies on the immediate needs of our sisters and brothers.  We are developing a new device, conforming to the MHRA guidelines for the rapidly manufactured ventilator systems.  The “Milano Ventilatore Meccanico” (MVM) requires only oxygen (or medical air) and electricity and can be operated with simple instructions.

The objective of the MVM collaboration is to design, develop, build and certify a safe ventilator that is powerful, yet gentle on the lungs. It aims to be very simple yet equipped with a sophisticated control system to offer the required ventilation modalities. The simplicity of the design, which is made possible by the MVM control system, allows for wide availability of parts, and rapid manufacturing in different countries.

The MVM Ventilator Collaboration operates in an open innovation framework to enable quick progress through ventilator design and testing, and to minimize the time required to get the ventilators manufactured and distributed to hospitals and patients.
The cooperation of particle and nuclear physics laboratories across Canada, Italy, and the United States will establish a common international standard for the machine, maximizing the benefits that come from the sharing of information. The MVM collaboration also includes people from France, Poland and Spain.

The MVM is an open source system, and the MVM Collaboration will publish regular progress reports in the public domain. No patents are expected to be filed and no exclusive licenses are expected to be granted.
The initial goal is to produce a first batch of up to 1,000 units each in Italy, Canada, and the United States while the interim certification process is ongoing, and then to increase capacity to be able to support up to several thousand units per day, once broader certification is secured and the production chain is developed.

We have Hope and we will not surrender.  Everyone can support the MVM project.

All proceeds will be managed by the Fondazione Aria towards the development and construction of the MVM units engineered and designed by the MVM Collaboration.