Innovation in Response to COVID-19
Innovation in Response to COVID-19
Mar 27, 2020 1:15 AM
Innovation in Response to COVID-19: What We're Working on at CMI
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, healthcare industry and hospital supply shortages seem to be changing by the minute. No matter where we live, our local clinical front-line hospital and ER staff need help, and they deserve our best, most-focused efforts.
In partnership with many innovators from throughout the University of Utah Health community and from local industry, over the last two weeks the Center for Medical Innovation has been in direct communication with innovators on campus and those on the front lines around the country managing the COVID-19 outbreak, working to identify meaningful and innovative ways to address this public health emergency.
Here's our progress to-date:
- Reusable Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) system using readily available components to protect health workers from aerosolized viral contaminants
- Formalize our support for Global Health Innovation programs for partner sites in Nepal and India during this public health emergency
- Reusable face shields: Design, development, and open-source instructions for assembly
- Noninvasive ventilation system (low-cost bubble CPAP) design using commonly-available respiratory equipment and tubing, to reduce or delay ventilator needs when vetilators and standard CPAP machines are unavailable.
- Droplet / aerosol containment tent to protect health care providers during crucial close-contact procedures
- Updated version April 14, 2020 -
- 3D Printed PAPR helmet adapter: design, development and instructions to retrofit older model PAPR helmets to newer model respirator systems
In the coming days, Center for Medical Innovation will be launching a centralized online platform to coordinate current and anticipated projects and serve as a hub of resources, informative reports, and contacts to those on-campus and in our community working tirelessly to manage the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. In the meantime, continue to check this page for updates.
Updated 16 April 2020
In response to the overwhelming demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) due to COVID-19, we've designed an enclosed Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) system to provide health care workers safe and reusable PPE when working with COVID-19 patients.
Designed to fully enclose the user, a PAPR system consists of a hood or helmet and a filtered respirator to provide those wearing the system a constant flow of clean air. This positive pressure prevents entry of unfiltered air and protects the health worker from inhaling aerosolized COVID-19 particles.
By combining readily available components such as mobile battery packs, portable fans, and replaceable medical grade filters with several 3D printed adapters, the assembled PAPR system designed by CMI expands the options to protect health workers treating COVID-19 patients.
Using a standardized rating system known as “Fit Factor”, PAPR systems typically rate somewhere between 200 and 1000 on the quantitative fit testing scale. This means the system reduces the concentration of 0.3 micron aerosolized particles inside the system by 200 to 1000 times when compared to the air outside the hood. The PAPR system developed by the CMI was assessed by the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Utah and offers a Fit Factor of 400 or better.
Later this week, CMI will be releasing design specifications for the PAPR system to other health care groups and the public. This includes Indian Health Services and the Navajo Nation, as well as CMI’s Global Health partners in India, Kenya, and Nepal, to provide guidance on assembly and use in resource-limited settings.
To learn more about the PAPR system developed by CMI, read the announcement here: CMI Develops Reusable PAPR system to protect health workers
Updated 14 April 2020
Exposure to aerosolized coronavirus is a huge health risk for professionals. Completing tasks such as intubation or nebulized breathing treatments pose a significant risk with COVID-19 patients. This updated version of an aerosol / droplet containment tent gives more portablity to health care providers, and offers greater access to a patient. It also has the added benefit of disposable plastic sheeting.
Several of these aerosol containment shields are currently being field-tested with groups at University of Utah hospital.
Instructions on the materials necessary to fabriate these tents are available from CMI for free.
Link to view and download aerosol / droplet tent instructions:
Updated 31 March 2020
Today CMI delivered the first batch of hundreds of specialized adapters to the University of Utah Hospital. The custom 3D printed adapter connects older models of Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) helmets to the filtration equipment on newer models, enabling hundreds of previously unusable helmets to be worn safely and comfortably by health care workers.
Designed to fully enclose the user, a PAPR system consists of a bodysuit (similar to those worn by technicians in clean-room settings), a helmet, and a continually operating respirator with filter to provide those wearing the system a constant flow of clean air and prevent any potential contamination from entering the helmet.
As the University of Utah Hospital braces for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients, all options to expand the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are being explored. This includes retrofitting older pieces of still viable equipment to the newer systems. PAPR systems have the benefit of being reusable and can drastically cut down on the consumption of single-use PPE.
Working directly with the hospital’s COVID-19 task force, the CMI engineering team designed a specialized adapter to connect older models of PAPR helmets in stock to the respirator systems currently used with newer models. Several prototypes were 3D printed at CMI lab to be evaluated by hospital staff, and after choosing a final design CMI immediately began production of 300 adapters.
Measuring approximately two inches wide and just under two inches tall, the adapters are 3D printed using a rigid thermoplastic. CMI can print approximately 75 adapters at a time, and has reached out to other groups on campus and local manufacturers with 3D printers to help supplement the printing process
To support of these shared efforts, the Center for Medical Innovation is releasing the technical schematics for the adapter, including files for 3D printing and assembly of the PAPR helmets, available at the links below:
Link to download .stl file for printing PAPR adapter
Link to download assembly instructions for PAPR adapter and compatible equipment
Link to download technical reference sheet for adapter
Working directly with partners in Nepal and India, the Center for Medical Innovation at the University of Utah today released materials for local health centers to prepare for treatment of COVID-19 patients in resource-limited settings, reaffirming its commitment to global health innovation during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Designated the regional headquarters for the management of COVID-19, the Kumari Clinic in Kumari, Nepal, and the Shakti Krupa Trust Community Health Center in Gujarat, India will be receiving guidance on COVID-19 patient treatment and ways to maximized health care system efficiency with limited resources, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Noninvasive Ventilation (NIV) options from the Center for Medical Innovation.
Facing a global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the CMI has focused on developing reusable PPE for those in both industrialized hospital and resource-limited settings. Global health programs often provide an opportunity for hands-on learning for many medical professionals around the world to develop their skills and provide valuable insight to public health best-practices. In times of crisis, the CMI recognizes these often resource-limited settings require additional support and guidance. Program managers at both sites in Nepal and India will have direct access to CMI engineering teams to collaboratively develop solutions for COVID-19 patient treatment and health care worker protection.
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation has graciously committed to providing an additional $15,000 for global health innovation during this public health emergency, citing an understanding of the importance of providing critical support to those groups in times of crisis.
For more information regarding CMI's Global Health Innovation programs, please contact Dr. Bernhard Fassl.
Updated March 27, 2020
The CMI contributes to the fight against COVID through innovation and development of critically needed equipment to protect our health providers. CMI’s reusable face shield protects the provider’s face not only from the front but also along the sides and neck. Development and future production are being explored via the generosity of local manufacturer OC Tanner.
The link below provides CMI’s technical schematics for those individuals or groups interested in producing face shields for their own community. *Before beginning construction, be sure to check with your local health care providers to see whether they need these shields, and to confirm whether they can accept these face shields. Please don’t buy up local supplies unless you have confirmed a local need!
Link to view and download face shield assembly directions:
Ventilator shortages are a huge challenge to manage critically ill patients with COVID-19 who need respiratory support. One way to ease the demand is using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) system. Our team has adopted an innovative approach to developing a “Bubble CPAP” system, using readily available supplies, such as OR vent tubing and wall oxygen and compressed medical air. This closed system can deliver CPAP without use of a breathing machine or ventilator. Use of CPAP has shown to decrease the need of ventilator use by up to 50%.
The list of components includes:
- Oxygen Intake
- T-Connector (female connector capped with air-tight seal)
- Adult Anesthesia Circuit Packet
- In-line filter (part of adult vent circuit)
- Pediatric Vent Tubing
- 1L NS Bottle with hole in top cap
- Exhalation loop "bubbles"
We’re currently working to develop best-practice instructions for assembly and identify potential substitution components in the event of supply shortages.
Exposure to aerosolized coronavirus is a huge health risk for professionals. Completing tasks such as intubation or nebulized breathing treatments pose a significant risk with COVID-19 patients. In response the CMI designed a negative airflow headbox which traps aerosolized secretions, removes them through a fan and filter system and protects the provider, while still providing the optical clarity and space necessary for the health care provider to perform their crucial work.
 - Role of Noninvasive Ventilation in Acute Lung Injury/Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Proportion Meta-Analysis. Agarwal et al. Respir Care55 (12), 1653-60; Dec 2010.