Why did we create the Venspirator™?
Legacy felt like we had to do something to help fight COVID-19, so in March we joined a maker community led by Formlabs to 3D print parts for ventilators. We dove into learning more about ventilators and respirators and discovered all the problems they have including disease transmission and lung damage. That's when we realized our GovReg® pressure regulator could be the foundation for an entirely new class of breathing device that solves these problems and more.
GovReg® Pressure Regulator
On April 10 we began work on the Venspirator™ concept, which combines the best features of ventilators and respirators to create something better. By May 29, we had a working prototype and filed the utility patent application with USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office). On August 3 we were informed by USPTO that we were accepted into their fast track emergency COVID program. In October we worked with their senior examiners to make the changes necessary for the patent to be allowed. The US patent is expected to issue soon.
Prior to Venspirator™, we commercialized our core technologies in pressure, temperature, and flow mostly in the beverage and stadium industries as part of draught beer systems and drink rails that make beer colder than it was served. So if you had suggested then that we'd be in the medical device industry, we would have laughed. But there's actually a lot of science in pouring the perfect draught beer. It's pretty sophisticated fluid dynamics - just like the Venspirator™. That said, we aren't the first beer equipment experts to create a medical device. The FOB (foam on beer) Detector was successfully commercialized as a heart valve!
Coldr™ Drink Rails at Atlanta Braves
While Legacy made a humanitarian pivot to create the Venspirator™, Formlabs pivoted as well to develop a medical grade 3D Form 3B Printer and BioMed Clear Resin. We're using these resources to manufacture (3D Print) medical grade prototypes to begin testing and efficacy for the Venspirator™. Our GovReg® has a quirk at low pressure settings - it delivers a specific flow and eases up to the set pressure preventing lung damage from too little or too much pressure. Then we added Venturi gas/air mixing, variable Force Multipliers for customized treatment, and a 2-way filter to protect both patients and caregivers from contamination. The Venspirator™ is a simple, elegant device with only 4 parts that delivers breakthrough respiratory care for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
Multiple universities, government agencies, medical device companies, engineers, and other resources have stepped up to help us finish development and get the Venspirator™ into the hands of those who need it. Legacy has bootstrapped this project through the prototype and patent stages, but needs help to bring it home. While we have SBIR grants with NIH (National Institute of Health) and NSF (National Science Foundation) in progress, we are grateful for any additional expertise, effort, and funding that might come our way. Every day at Legacy we talk about one thing we can do today, that we didn't do yesterday, that will move the Venspirator™ one step closer to making a difference in the world.