The Emergency Ventilator Response Team

Rapid-Response Design for COVID-19 Ventilator Crisis

Respiro One: coronavirus rapid response ventilators
“We loved working with the frog team. Their guidance on positioning and communications around the Spiro Wave device and Emergency Ventilator Response initiative helped us take this fluid, fast-paced project, and align all parties on a clear path for success.”
Scott Cohen, CEO Spiro Devices, LLC
One of the most pressing shortages hospitals face during the COVID-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators.

On March 27, 2020, frog joined the Emergency Ventilator Response team in its mission to design, produce and distribute a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture automated resuscitator to help meet the growing demands on our healthcare systems amid the coronavirus pandemic. Frog worked closely with Newlab, the home to over 800 world-class inventors, engineers, and entrepreneurs applying technology to things that matter. Newlab members and staff, along with member company and product design firm 10xBeta, initiated the response and facilitated the rapid collaboration and transformative innovation required to respond to the crisis.

The goal of the initiative was to gather a crisis response team of leading designers, engineers, volunteer researchers, public health experts, critical care physicians, and members of the business community from across the country to create a medical device that could be manufactured quickly, at scale, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional ventilators, along with a brand and communications strategy that would help communicate the need to the world.

Within 48 minutes of the request, frog assembled a ten-person team to create a website that could take hospital distribution requests, donations and submissions for manufacturing partners. Within 48 hours, the frog team had led remote collaboration workshops to define and name the initiative and the Spiro Wave device. frog helped to organize the emergency response team around a dynamic pre-launch plan including the name, website and communications around Spiro Wave, which helped the team secure partnerships and begin Emergency Use Authorization discussions with the FDA.

Challenges for traditional ventilators
Traditional ventilators have more than 650 components, over one million lines of code, and are sold to hospitals at $30,000 per unit. With the cost and timing constraints involved, it will take months for larger-scale manufacturers to ramp up production of full-feature ventilators to address the shortage.
A low-cost, rapid-response solution
The Emergency Ventilator Response team brought partners together to create the Spiro Wave, inspired by MIT’s E-vent, an emergency ventilation device that helps hospitals expand their capacity to care for patients during this crisis. It is designed for rapid manufacturing, leverages low-cost, readily available components and is ready for distribution through partners and municipalities.
Clear communication helps align priorities
The frog team, in collaboration with the Emergency Ventilator Response team, helped to organize the fast-paced emergency response team’s final push to get these life-saving devices into NYC hospitals, despite the hurdles of working with remote teams across a number of organizations.

We implemented the following tools to facilitate remote collaboration among the Emergency Response Team:

— Microsoft Teams & Zoom for face-to-face meetings when we couldn’t be in the same room
— Slack to keep on top of group conversations and communications
— Google Drive and SharePoint to keep on top of collaborative documents
— Miro for remote whiteboarding and collaborative brainstorming
— Figma for collaborative design and delivery of the final marketing and communications website
— Contentful CMS to allow team members to quickly update text with each legal review

The amount of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 that will need ventilation while regions across the globe are facing ventilator shortages.
500 units/day
The Emergency Ventilator Response Team is on track to produce 500 units per day at their lead manufacturing facility in Long Island City, New York. As donations and manufacturing partners increase, so does the daily output of Spiro Wave. The Emergency Ventilator Response team anticipates production to scale to other global cities in the near future.
48 hours
The time it took for frog to develop the communication plan and website for the Emergency Ventilator Response Team. We remained a close partner through pre-launch, as counsel and front line response, to make updates for legal and FDA compliance measures along with partner feedback.
The Spiro Wave will be made available to medical device manufacturers capable of assisting in scaling the production and distribution of these devices across the country and around the world. In addition, frog helped to design and launch a fully-functional communications website through which interested parties can either request devices for their hospital, request to become a manufacturing partner or donate funds to ensure hospitals are provided with the devices they need regardless of ability to pay.

All images courtesy of 10XBeta design.

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