Gaming PC Builder Maingear Starts Building Emergency Ventilators

Gaming PC Builder Maingear Starts Building Emergency Ventilators
Prototype of the Maingear LIV Ventilator (Photo: Maingear)

New Jersey-based computer company Maingear announced today that it is retooling a significant portion of its manufacturing facilities, normally dedicated to making very pretty gaming PCs, to create very pretty emergency ventilators to aid hospitals in the fight against covid-19.

Emergency ventilators are an important tool in the fight against covid-19, which can severely impair infected patients’ ability to breathe. Medical facilities across the country and around the world are being inundated with patience requiring breathing assistance, and like surgical masks, there aren’t enough ventilators to go around.

Maingear’s ventilator is a response to that shortage. Called the LIV, it looks like a gaming PC with a tube coming out of it. That’s because the prototype is housed in an actual gaming PC case. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the same case used on the F131 PC I reviewed back in 2012.

ImageIt is exactly that, minus the drive slot. (Photo: Maingear)

Instead of PC components, the LIV integrates a complex oxygen delivery system with a touch-screen interface. Designed for patients undergoing intensive therapy, it powers on and starts supplying oxygen in 1.5 seconds. Medical professionals can adjust every aspect of the device, from expiratory pressure to breaths-per-minute, while a series of presets are available to aid untrained medical workers in operating the device.

According to Maingear’s morning announcement, the LIV can be manufactured at scale at a quarter of the price of traditional ventilators. Though still pending FDA approval, the company is already in talks with state and local officials to supply LIV units to medical facilities across the country, with plans to scale to ship internationally.

It is a bit weird that Maingear has gone out of its way to create a flashy promotional website for its emergency ventilators, but whatever gets more ventilators in the hands of medical personnel is fine by me.

Comments

  • There are a lot of people trying to do the right thing but just about every “We’ve designed a ventilator to help” has not actually been something that would he helpful and in many cases would cause even more damage to stressed lungs.

    • Precisely. There’s a reason ventilators and other medical equipment are so expensive and take so long to receive approval and make it to market. With some of these emergency ventilators that are being designed (and this looks the best I’ve seen), anything is not always better than nothing.

      I’d suggest people check out Real Engineering’s video to get a small appreciation for some of the basic factors involved – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vLPefHYWpY

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