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Maingear is building ventilators using gaming PC cases

The LIV could help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
April 8, 2020
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Maingear LIV ventilator
Maingear

Numerous tech and automotive companies have stepped up to make ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that now includes gaming PC builders. Maingear has developed a ventilator, the LIV, that uses an old version of its F131 PC case as the chassis. Based on a platform already in use in Italy and Switzerland, it’s designed to be easy to use with automatic operation, presets and a touchscreen interface. Healthcare workers can start delivering oxygen in as little as 1.5 seconds.

The off-the-shelf components help keep the costs down. Maingear claims the LIV can be produced at a quarter of the price of conventional ventilators. That still makes it relatively expensive (a ventilator typically costs tens of thousands of dollars), but the savings could make all the difference for hospitals already struggling to cope with high patient loads.

As Kotaku notes, the LIV isn’t ready for service yet. It still has to receive FDA approval for use in the US. Maingear is already talking with state and city officials to deploy the ventilator across the US, however, and hopes to make it available internationally. Whether or not Maingear can deploy the LIV in time is another matter. There’s a chance it might come too late if the pandemic reaches its peak relatively soon.

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