Boutique PC Builder Maingear To Produce Low-Cost Ventilators Due To Crushing COVID-19 Demand
Maingear is known for assembling meticulously crafted and high performance gaming PCs. like its recently overhauled Rush desktop with up to a 64-core Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor and dual Titan RTX graphics cards. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic, however, Maingear is taking its boutique building expertise and temporarily applying it towards lower cost ventilators.
As you are probably well aware at this point, hospitals are in dire need of certain medical supplies, including N95 masks, gloves, and ventilators. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, and rapid spread means ventilators are needed now more than ever. To help meet that need, some technology companies are working towards building their own custom ventilators.
Tesla and other automakers are among the companies doing exactly that, by using car parts and existing manufacturing facilities. In the PC space, Maingear today announced plans to supply its new "LIV" ventilators to assist in the Coronavirus pandemic.
Maingear says LIV can be produced at scale for approximately a quarter of the price of traditional ventilators. Based in New Jersey, Maingear resides just 20 minutes outside of New York City, one of the COVID-19 hot spots. As part of this effort, Maingear said it is retooling much of its production space to mass assemble its LIV ventilators.
"It was clear once this situation began to escalate that something had to be done," said Wallace Santos, Maingear founder and CEO. "Within days of assembling our team, we had our first prototype ventilator ready to go. Besides the lack of medical supplies and equipment, we think there will be a shortage of medical professionals who can operate these devices especially in field hospitals, so we also made it incredibly simple to use. Now we need help getting the word out to the appropriate people."
The team Santos speaks of includes Rahul Sood, chairman of the board of Maingear and co-founder of Unikrn (he also founded VoodooPC, which was acquired by HP in 2006), as well as Dr. Deepak Kaura (1QBit's chief medical officer), Dr. Nahus A. Mokadam (director of cardiac surgery at Ohio State University), and Vinaya Kulkarni (founder of Abacus West).
LIV is an impressive kit. It may look like a desktop tower (in its prototype form—the final design could change), but the parts inside are very different. It takes just 1.5 seconds to power on, at which point it begins supplying oxygen to the patient. There are also several safety measures built into the device—it sounds an alarm if it detects low flow of air into the lungs or low pressure, among other situations.
Using a Shield tablet, a healthcare provide can control things like PEEP (positive end expiratory pressure) and other things. However, Maingear says the ventilator also works without a tablet.
At this point, Maingear is looking to spread awareness about LIV to accelerate FDA approval. Once approved, it could start supplying these ventilators to hospitals in need.