Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: UAE-made ventilator designed, built in under 8 weeks

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on June 6, 2020
UAE coronavirus , ventilator, Covid-19, China, warning, Coronavirus outbreak, lockdown, pandemic, Dubai, new cases, Covid-19 death, recoveries

The M061 prototype has been designed to address the individual needs of patients by delivering multiple modes of ventilation.

In just eight weeks, UAE researchers have built a mechanical ventilator prototype to meet the additional requirements of the country's healthcare, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The project team created the M061 ventilator system, a modular and scalable prototype, relying on interchangeable components that are easy to source and integrate, in an effort to circumvent the worldwide scarcity of crucial medical supplies.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the  Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), said that Project M061 was initiated and implemented under the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the DFF, to address the urgent need for large numbers of mechanical ventilators that play a crucial role in treating patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19.

The development of the ventilator is part of the country's efforts to deploy breakthrough technologies in the fight against Covid-19 and to enhance its healthcare capabilities, Sheikh Hamdan had earlier said.

By closely studying existing ventilator designs, researchers identified functionality and durability as two key elements that would help make a difference and define the M061 ventilator. They tested prototype medical ventilators systems that could provide oxygen to patients for longer periods and efficiently adapt to changes in vital indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature.

The ventilator has been specifically designed to address the unique circumstances of the current pandemic and alleviate the pressure on healthcare systems during the crisis. The prototype is intended to support, rather than replace, existing hospital ventilators that have broader medical applications and are designed to last for significantly longer durations.

The team plans to execute a rigorous testing cycle, under the supervision of pulmonary specialists and clinicians in hospital.

The healthcare project has been a partnership between the DFF, Office of Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Dubai Covid-19 Command and Control Centre, Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dubai Health Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, as well as government agencies, research centres and international institutions.

During the development process, the team followed standard professional engineering practices to ensure that the ventilator adhered to the highest quality standards and received input from ventilator specialists currently treating Covid-19 patients.

Specialities of the UAE-developed ventilator

The M061 ventilator prototype consists of a mechanical airway made of tubes, fitted with various valves, sensors and filters and is capable of providing invasive and non-invasive mechanical respiratory assistance with the aim of sustaining raspatory support for both short- and long-term periods. Incorporating a custom printed circuit board (PCB), the prototype facilitates easy interface with various types of I/O (input/output) devices.

The M061 prototype has been designed to address the individual needs of patients by delivering multiple modes of ventilation in the pressure and volume mode families, along with further assistive and supportive functions, based on the patient's breathing capacity.

Brains behind Project M061

> Khalifa Al Qama, head of Dubai Future Labs and project lead

> Saqer Bin Ghalib, director of Artificial Intelligence Office

> Dr Tarek Taha, Robotics Lab lead

> Rashid Al Suwaidi, Software Engineer

> Majed Al Khatib, lab technician

> Hamad Mohamed, software engineer

> Layth Mahdi, senior robotics researcher

>Alexander Spies, senior integration manager

> Julian Ferling, deputy integration manager

> Mohamed Alzahmi, software engineer

> Maryam Buhumaid, foresight analyst

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