How to build better health care technology

UBC researchers share lessons learned from innovative origami-inspired ventilator project

One of the many challenges faced by hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shortage of ventilators. Health care facilities in low- and middle-income countries have struggled especially hard to procure the life-saving machines, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars each.

Last year, an interdisciplinary team led by UBC Nursing professor and Canada Research Chair in Senior Care Dr. Lillian Hung set out to help make ventilators more accessible. What they created is an effective, affordable ventilation device that costs only $100 to produce and weighs in at just six kilograms — ideal for use in remote care settings and patient transports like ambulances.

The patent-pending technology can be made using a 3D printer, cutting production costs dramatically. It may also last longer than traditional ventilators do, thanks to an innovative origami pattern-inspired airbag design that minimizes wear-and-tear from repeated compressions.

To read the full story, please visit the UBC Applied Science announcement.

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