Jenny was invited to contribute to Nature’s Coronapod due to her interest in the intersection between open hardware projects for COVID-19 and the regulatory and quality assurance mechanisms needed to ensure medical devices and tests meet health and safety regulations. This aspect can be underappreciated by engineers or those focused on the engineering challenge rather than the practical application, even though it is vitally important.
This is particularly of relevance with the large number of open hardware ventilator designs currently being produced.
Some of these machines are regulating breathing; they’re actually forcibly pressurising air in a way that could harm patients if done incorrectlyJenny Molloy on Nature Coronapod
Jenny outlines ways projects can better think about these ideas from the start, to increase their chances of reaching patients and achieving a positive impact.
For more information see Maia Chagas, A., Molloy, J.C., Prieto-Godino, L.L. and Baden, T., 2020. Leveraging open hardware to alleviate the burden of COVID-19 on global health systems. PLOS Biology, 18(4), p.e3000730.