Al-Quds University‘s newly designed medical ventilator. (Photo courtesy of Al-Quds University)
JERUSALEM, Wednesday, April 29, 2020 (WAFA) -The Palestinian Standards Institute (PSI) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) officially approved the medical ventilator that was designed and produced by Al-Quds University’s (AQU) faculties of engineering and medicine, and was unveiled earlier this month, an Al-Quds University press release said today.
The decision to officially approve AQU’s medical ventilator came after a series of extensive technical tests and medical trials that were carried out on the prototype over the past three weeks by the PSI and MoH, under the supervision of several teams of experts who worked around the clock to complete the tests on an expedited basis, given the urgency for medical ventilators worldwide as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread.
According to a study by Imperial College London, some 30% of coronavirus patients will need some form of mechanical breathing support. The magnitude and breadth of the spread around the world have overwhelmed healthcare systems, and led to a life-threatening shortage in respiratory support machines.
President of Al-Quds University, Imad Abu Kishek, announced that the university will begin immediately the process of producing 100 units to deliver them to Palestinian hospitals and treatment centers through the MoH, as a contribution by the university to the battle led by the Palestinian president and government against the pandemic and its consequences.
AQU’s ventilator prototype was designed and built by a team of senior professors from the university’s Faculty of Medicine specializing in pulmonary diseases and intensive care, and professors from the Faculty of Engineering specializing in biomedical, electronics, and computer engineering. AQU’s model is based on an original design that utilizes materials and hardware that are readily available in the local domain and at a low cost. This feature, along with a fully computerized set of breathings modes, are among the innovative additions in AQU’s prototype.
Contrary to designs of more basic ventilators publicized by certain biomedical engineering companies and universities that utilize the concept of mechanically operating ambu-bags, AQU’s prototype is of a sophisticated technical, mechanical and electronic composition, does not use ambu-bags, and is controlled through electronic panels and LCD screens that enable health care providers to control and monitor the performance of the device.
With less than 250 ventilators available in Palestinian hospitals, AQU’s ventilator will prove to be one of the most vital and timely inventions Palestine is yet to witness.
Al-Quds University is a research-intensive university that is dedicated to excellence in teaching. Al-Quds offers more than 100 under and post-graduate programs, taught through its 15 degree-granting faculties, which cover the major disciplines in medicine, engineering, life and natural sciences, law, and humanities. Al-Quds, currently home to more than 13,000 students, was established in 1977, and has since pioneered in introducing programs for the first time in Palestine, including the establishment of the first Palestinian medical school.