There is a grassroots movement of makers, engineers, and others to create backup plans for the supply of medical devices during the pandemic. (What’s the plan) It is admirable, however coupled with a good dose of optimism we have to also look at reality. What if all of our plans fail and we have to rely on what is coming out of our local makerspace, for ventilators, facemasks, and other medical equipment essentials?
I think we should really look at the classification of the device. A facemask is classified as a Class I medical device. The risk if it malfunctioned has a minimal risk on the life of the people using it, however, on the other end, a ventilator is classified as a Class III medical device. If that malfunctioned the risk on a person’s life is high.
I doubt we will every use makerspace made ventilators for patients. But it does bring up a good point, what options do we have. These innovative makers are resourceful and have found potential solutions to a medical supply chain issue that large companies were incapable of responding to.