Technology Generator

Technological Institute of the Philippines
Project Leader: Engr. John Joel Martinez

The Problem

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, usually presenting as mild to moderate respiratory illness in 80% of the infected people. However, around 15% of those infected develop severe disease while 5% develop critical disease with complications like respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Older age and certain comorbidities increase the risk for severe disease and death.

The surge in COVID-19 cases has caused substantial strain on healthcare systems, especially in resource-limited countries like the Philippines where the supply of mechanical ventilators is limited and manual ambu-bagging of patients by family members and healthcare workers alike is common practice. Different countries addressed this shortage by manufacturing deployable, low-cost emergency ventilators, including bag-valve-mask-based ventilators. The problem was worse in smaller hospitals in the provinces, which could not afford to buy mechanical ventilators that cost between P500,000 and more than P1 million each.

The Solution

The Technological Institute of the Philippines, in collaboration with the Lung Center of the Philippines, and Vents for Philippines Collaborative, developed and designed SiglaVent, an Innovative Automated Ambu Bag intended to be used for patients requiring brief durations of assisted ventilation e.g., those awaiting their turn on mechanical ventilators or in transport to other areas of the hospital for radiologic procedures. “SiglaVent” is a cost-efficient design that is a new take on conventional ventilators. The system is a computer-implemented invention that controls the ventilation parameters of an existing manual resuscitator device. The SiglaVent’s state-of-the-art control and automation process provides steady and accurate ventilation from a previously inaccurate manual resuscitator. It is also packed with computer-implemented safety features equipped with smart sensors to ensure that the patient is safe and the device can adhere to the physician’s standards.

Project Team

Engineers from the Technological Institute of the Philippines, with its network of collaborators, and other volunteer engineers, under the close supervision of intensivists and pulmonologists, designed a prototype of SiglaVent, with the aim to develop a more cost-efficient alternative over other imported ventilators and also to potentially benefit the medical capability of local public and private hospitals, and other low-resource healthcare facilities especially those situated in areas away from the metro cities..

Product Development Stage

The device is currently at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4.The project has already obtained a Certificate of Medical Device Listing (CMDL) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All simulation tests have been completed, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology – Electronics Product Development Center. Three units of the SiglaVent have been delivered to Lung Center of the Philippines, wherein design inputs have been obtained from relevant clinicians and health workers who are involved in the clinical trials.

Contact Person

Engr. John Joel Martinez
Faculty Researcher
Technological Institute of the Philippines

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