FB group forms to open-source development of coronavirus-related medical hardware

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/14/fb-group-forms-to-open-source.html

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I saw this on Hackaday, and even the commenters there mostly recognised what a bad idea it is, at least as far as ventilators are concerned. There may be a place for John Galt figures to solve the world’s problems single-handed, but this isn’t it; even if you are a genius hax0r, your time is best spent finding ways to help those around you.

There are a bunch of ways for unlicensed homebrew ventilators to harm people directly – poisoning them with oxygen, catching fire, damaging their lungs with excess pressure, aerosolizing infectious particles – and indirectly, by encouraging them to avoid proper treatment in the first instance.

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Two-ply or not two-ply, that is the question.

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Here’s a device for opening doors without touching the handle that is commonly available and doesn’t require a 3D printer:

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There’s one that’s even simpler and cheaper - a piece of paper.
Gloves are a good idea but the virus can live for several days outside a host. So if your glove picks up a virus, it will still be on that glove and vital several days later. If you want to shield yourself when handling things, use something that you can trash right after using.

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Somewhat related. I’ve been curious why there is such a scarcity of tests available in the U.S. - (other than the obvious dysfunction of the systems that we have here), is there any inherent limitation on producing these like scarce reagents or fixed culturing time-spans that can’t be accelerated? I have no idea what a viral test kits consist of physically, assuming these are targeted to a specific virus or type (and have to be produced reactively to a need) - or do we just not have these kinds of public health resources in general?

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I think a large part is that operating the test is still a skilled process, and people with those skills are working flat out.

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Ventilators are incredibly complex (and considerably better) now compared to, say, 30 years ago.

I wonder if those older, less elaborate ventilators are cheaper to produce and stockpile (as first line vents).

Probably not, given modern electronics and economy of scale and whatnot. Anyone in the biz know?

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There are both reagent, equipment and staffing shortages. https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/shortage-crucial-chemicals-us-coronavirus-testing/ The sad truth is that it takes time to build up a testing infrastructure and we viewed it as an unnecessary cost center before the crisis when it would have needed to be in place to hit the ground running.

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Thanks for that link, very informative. I also saw that there is a new test system that is being accelerated through the approval process. The intrinsic limitations in scaling something like this made me dubious of the offer that Jack Ma made to donate half a million test kits. (if that kind of inventory existed why would it be only available to him?).

Illustrating the insanity of trying to run societal infrastructure “like a business”.

Exactly.

Little door opening tools are fine, but there’s a reason regulations and quality standards exist to ensure medical devices are safe and effective.

Lets not go back to this crap

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