CTech – Microsoft’s research and development center in Israel, in collaboration with Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom (MADA), the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), and the Israeli Air Force, is working to develop a low-cost ventilator that can be mass-produced in labs without the need of dedicated factories, Microsoft Israel announced Friday.

Ventilators have been proven to be a bottleneck in treating the more serious symptoms of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in many of the countries currently experiencing an outbreak. Critical patients can experience severe respiratory distress and mortality rates rise even further when ventilators are unavailable. According to the Israeli Ministry of Health, Israel currently has just 2,173 ventilators in stock, 28 of which are faulty. The ministry is currently making efforts to obtain new machines.

The ventilator Microsoft Israel is developing uses a manual respiration balloon and operates it autonomously. The product is open source, meaning that all of its assembling instructions will be open to the public, both in Israel and worldwide.

The ventilator is being developed at Microsoft Israel’s research and development center’s recently launched Garage Innovation Lab, which is providing university students with the equipment and materials needed to develop the ventilator.

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