In the race to provide the ventilators needed to treat COVID-19, several companies have developed new devices. But there may be a simpler approach. Formlabs has received an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA to 3D-print small adapters that can turn existing sleep apnea machines into ventilators. Formlabs is now shipping the adapters throughout the US and hospitals can print their own.
The small, plastic T-shaped adapters were developed by Northwell Health, New York's largest healthcare provider. They were used to provide life-saving care to COVID-19 patients in New York City. Thanks to this EUA, other hospitals can now 3D-print the adapters and use them with existing bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines.