Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies

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= Facebook group of OSCMS, formerly known as the Open Source Ventilator Project.


See also the Google doc summary: Summary of COVID19 Situation and Supply Needs


1. Gui Cavalcanti:

"I started this group to quickly develop an open source ventilator, as it seemed obvious to me that global supplies would run out. After speaking to medical professionals all over the globe, it became even more obvious that we will quickly run out of MOST COVID19-RELATED MEDICAL SUPPLIES, and ventilators are only a small part of the problem. I have been introduced to a number of groups who are already working on open source efforts to develop ventilators and other projects. We want to help them succeed rather than to duplicate their efforts.

The biggest problems here are:

a) COVID19 is incredibly infectious, due to a 5-day incubation period with presymptomatic transmission;

b) It sends 15-20% of infected people to the hospital for respiratory failure;

c) Patients are then hospitalized for weeks. During this time, medical supplies are needed to support both patients as well as healthcare workers.

We therefore will run short of supplies (particularly with supply chain disruptions), and we will likely require alternative medical solutions globally.


We are the largest and fastest-growing community addressing this issue head-on. Our mission is to be a virally-growing (sorry) portal that:

a) Educates as many people as possible, as accurately as possible, on problems and helpful solutions;

b) Directs volunteers of various skills and backgrounds appropriately to dedicated teams around the world;

c) Shares potential solutions to effective medical supply problems far and wide;

d) Helps coordinate local and global responses when and where appropriate.

You will see a lot of formalization and additional structure over the next few days, accordingly."

2. Maddie Bender:

"Gui Cavalcanti, the founder of “Open Source COVID 19 Medical Supplies," a Facebook group formerly known as the “Open Source Ventilator Project," was made aware of these challenges and decided to pivot away from ventilator design.

An engineer by training, Cavalcanti called first responders in San Francisco who told him to focus instead on other equipment necessary to the public health response, like masks and gloves. “They said, ‘Listen, ventilators are not the issue. The issue is literally everything else,’” he said.

Cavalcanti created the Facebook group last week to act as a repository of information and open-source designs for medical supplies, and it has already grown to over 5,000 members. Cavalcanti said that he and the other leaders of the group are working with distilleries and fabricators to produce hand sanitizer.

One member, Trevor Smale, published preliminary open-source designs of a low-tech ventilator that can be pumped by hand to provide oxygen to a patient. Smale and a handful of close friends, he said in an email, combined designs by groups at MIT and Rice University to create a DIY version of a device known by its brand name as an Ambu bag.

"The chaotic fervor and ideation going on all over the place on various forums and social media platforms meant ideas were atomized and difficult to capture," he said. "After getting some very helpful information and positive reinforcement from experienced front line professionals on the Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies group and researching elsewhere, I knew that a small, simple and automated ventilator would be a valuable commodity, so I started the GitLab project." (

More information