A Pakistani entrepreneur, Zarlasht Faisal, has developed a 3D printed valve that converts a single-use ventilator into a multi-use respirator, without affecting the cost.
Zarlasht, who presented her idea on Twitter, and demanded help from the 3D printing sector, says no one from Pakistan approached her, but a pointless debate went on for days until someone from Australia prepared a prototype for her.
She then got the printing done overnight to get the valves ready for testing the next morning, but many leading hospitals hesitated, lingering the testing for ‘next week.’ That was when Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital agreed to testing it.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, she revealed how Dr. Faisal Sultan, the CEO of SKMH, responded positively. They also involved a mechatronics engineering team in improving the splitter design further to increase the capacity from one to four ventilators.
Turning 100 ventilators into 400; A thread on the resilience and potential of young creators in Pakistan.
It all started with a story read on 3D printing and how it can contribute to fast tracking the making of life saving equipment amidst an unprecedented global pandemic. pic.twitter.com/hIYRo93aVd
— Zarlasht Faisal (@ZarlashtFaisal) March 27, 2020
Successful testing led to an increase in demand from several hospitals, and the splitter design was shared with 3D printers across the country to encourage them to volunteer for the cause of humanity. A good number of printers agreed, and now, the 3D respirators are being printed across the country.
At a time when Pakistan is in dire need of cheap indigenously-built equipment in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, Zarlasht’s innovation can prove to be a real game-changer.
Commenting on the achievement, she said:
Innovation is all about solving a problem WHEN it needs to be solved. No procrastination. All this happened over a span of a few days; Shaukat Khanum helped when it stepped up to understand the potential of what these young Pakistanis were creating for battlefield medicine.
She mentioned that they have not yet aligned the product with ventilator manufacturers or followed proper documentation because of the urgency.
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