COVID-19 targets the lungs causing respiratory illness with, in severe cases, complications like pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Severe cases will require a ventilator to be able to deliver enough oxygen into the lungs to the rest of the body.  According to the New York Times, there are about 170,000 ventilators in the US while the American Hospital Association estimates 960,000 people will need them over the course of the pandemic.  Startups at MassRobotics have formed a non-profit effort – The Ventilator Project – to prototype a low cost mechanical ventilator.  Alex Frost, CEO of QuickFlora, and Tyler Mantel, Founder of Watertower Robotics, have reached across the robotics and healthcare community to build a team to rapidly scale into production once FDA approved, but they need additional  expertise and guidance to assist with regulatory acceptance of the prototype.  Currently, they are applying for emergency approval and financial assistance through quick turnaround sources.  MITRE is connecting them with internal expertise and resources across our network, for example we shared information on two DoD programs seeking prototypes.  If you would like to get involved with this effort, contact Eric Renda or Alex Frost.  Please share this opportunity with your network!

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