"Coventor" Becomes First of Its Kind to Get FDA Approval

A month ago, researchers at the U of M thought up an idea for a simple, low-cost ventilator alternative to help patients breathe in emergency situations. A few days later, the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center — directed by ME Professor Arthur Erdman — had a prototype. On April 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized production of what is now called the Coventor, the first of its kind to be approved for emergency use during the COVID-19 outbreak. Production is scheduled to start next month on a run of 3,000 devices, with plans to scale up according to demand. Its designers will sell the Coventor at cost, in addition to releasing the design plans. When a hospital's ventilators are all in use, or if patients don't have access to high-end ventilators, the Coventor steps in — to save lives. "Full speed ahead," said Erdman.