Mdeans
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Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:35 pm

Hey all, with this coronavirus crisis, could it be possible to utilize the raspberry pi as a controller for a ventilator, with control for pumps, valves etc, even a display? Has anyone thought of the idea for repurposing old or new raspberry pi’s and come up with any coding or designs for such a thing?

Just throwing ideas out there where our community might be able to help.

Thanks

deepo
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:57 pm

It's been covered a few times.
Yes the Raspberry Pi can do this, but it will probably never pass the bar when it comes to the safety requirements for operating life critical systems.

/Mogens

Heater
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:09 pm

I think that in times of emergency the bar on safety might get lowered.

If you need a million ventilators and you only have a thousand it might be judged that using whatever hack jobs one can find is not going to be worse than using nothing.

There is already a story of guys in Italy 3D printing valves, for ventilators I presume, for one dollar, when the company that made them ran out of stock and wanted a thousand dollars each anyway! Shamefully that company sued the guys for patent infringement. Unbelievable.
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jbudd
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:26 pm

The British government has published a minimum specification for ventilators. It's quite extensive.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... cification

I think I've read that England has 8000 ventilators and expects to require 30000 within a fortnight.
Intensive care for coronavirus patients is now being limited to those “reasonably certain” to survive, a major NHS London trust has conceded.
A department head at Imperial College Healthcare revealed on Sunday that fewer and fewer marginal patients are being selected for ventilator treatment because so many serious cases require a fortnight on the machines.
If I'm one of those who doesn't get intensive care when I need it, I'd accept a plastic bag squeezed by a hamster wheel but I really doubt if any health professional would give me a Raspberry Pi based ventilator.

On the other hand, a really really low tech alternative design made from string and sealing wax just might save many lives. Knowing nothing about it, I'd guess that a possible starting point would be a PCAP machine for sleep apnoea.
Volunteering to work at the Dyson factory, where they are trying to make 10000 of their new design might help too (don't know if they welcome volunteers).

wh7qq
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:48 pm

It is possible to kill with a ventilator and its possible to recover from viral/bacterial pneumonia. Take your pick. Keep your hacked ventilators away from me and mine. It's a nice idea but best pursued by engineers experienced in ventilator design and construction.

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davidcoton
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:57 pm

I'm sure it is possible for a brilliant designer with relevant medical knowledge to re-think respirator design and come up with something simple, quick to design/build/certify, cheap and safe for use in the present crisis.

The fact that you need to ask about using a Pi in such a design indicates that you are not that designer. (BTW, for different reasons neither am I.)
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Heater
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:21 pm

wh7qq wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:48 pm
It is possible to kill with a ventilator and its possible to recover from viral/bacterial pneumonia. Take your pick. Keep your hacked ventilators away from me and mine. It's a nice idea but best pursued by engineers experienced in ventilator design and construction.
Ah, well, there is the thing. Nobody said that these potentially life saving ventilators were not going to be a "hack" done by engineers experienced in ventilator design and construction.

My suggestion is though that they might not be produced by the traditional manufacturers and subject to their high prices, patents and regulations about testing.

Aside:

I'm puzzling over the fact that England is reporting zero recoveries from Corona. 1500 cases, over 1000 deaths, 0 recoveries.
Meanwhile other countries report that some survive. For example Finland: 1197 cases, 11 deaths, 10 recoveries.

Also, how come the reported death rate is 10 times higher in England than Finland. Percentage wise?

Figures from: https://www.bing.com/covid/local/finland
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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DougieLawson
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:53 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:21 pm

I'm puzzling over the fact that England is reporting zero recoveries from Corona. 1500 cases, over 1000 deaths, 0 recoveries.
Meanwhile other countries report that some survive. For example Finland: 1197 cases, 11 deaths, 10 recoveries.

Also, how come the reported death rate is 10 times higher in England than Finland. Percentage wise?

Figures from: https://www.bing.com/covid/local/finland
I'm using https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ for a source of statistics. It has 135 recoveries and 1,228 deaths from 19,522 total cases for the UK. 52 recoveries and 11 deaths from 1,240 cases for Finland.

It's all about when the country started their isolation vs their deadly experimenting with "herd immunity" (like Trump in the USA and Boris Johnson & Dominic Cummings in the UK).
I've seen a suggestion we can't trust the data from China (who have reported lower numbers than the United States with three times the population of the US). But I haven't been able to fact check the article I found on https://rfa.org.

The Lancet article I read today (link is now 404'd) had it at roughly 21 days from infection to recovery and 19.5 days from infection to death and about 66% of patients on ventilation don't survive.
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Re: Could the raspberry pi be used to control a ventilator?

Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:04 pm

deepo wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:57 pm
It's been covered a few times.
Yes the Raspberry Pi can do this, but it will probably never pass the bar when it comes to the safety requirements for operating life critical systems.

/Mogens
Rockets are loud.
https://astro-pi.org

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