LifeMech: Machines Saving Lives

LifeMech is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization focused on building an open source, low-cost adapted ventilator system for those in critical need. 

Project Status

FDA EUA Authorized

Next Steps

Manufacture 10 units
Develop turbine PoC 

What is an Adapted Ventilator System? 

Our goal is to design a basic medical ventilator that is safe and effective, but can be quickly built at low cost, using globally available components and manufacturing.* We call our design an Adapted Ventilator System (A-VS).

An Open-Source Movement

LifeMech’s A-VS design will be open source, which means that anybody will be able to freely use, copy, or modify it.

The open-source nature of this project is critical, not just for enabling open collaboration between so many partners, but for making sure that units can be manufactured wherever the need is greatest.

Averting the Crisis

The world’s medical infrastructure is being overwhelmed by COVID-19. The volume of people afflicted by COVID-19 has outstripped the healthcare system’s ability to care for them. Heroic efforts by medical personnel have saved many, but without the right tools, they can only do so much. This is especially true with ventilators, which are believed to be critical for treating severe cases of COVID-19. Commercial ventilators are complex, expensive, and difficult to manufacture.

Shortly after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, a volunteer network of doctors, engineers, and researchers quickly assembled from across the USA with a mission to design a simplified, low cost, open-source ventilator to address the looming shortage using already available materials: the A-VS – Adapted Ventilator System.

We are preparing the submission for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization by the end of April for use during the COVID-19 crisis.*

Donations are needed to cover the costs of prototype manufacturing, safety testing, and FDA testing. Please donate below to help us or visit our FAQ page for more information.


We need your help to get our designs through the testing phase! Prototype builds, FDA submission, and clinical and safety tests will cost an estimated $65,000. We also need to purchase parts for creating reference units, amounting to $60,000, plus $10,000 for manufacturing (provided at cost by the manufacturer). Donated funds will go directly to covering these costs.

After the Crisis

After the immediate need for ventilators is addressed, what then? LifeMech will continue to work on and improve the A-VS for use in future crises. We are also looking into creating variants of the design for use in field hospitals, refugee camps, mobile medical centers, humanitarian facilities, and remote regions.*

LifeMech plans to work with Mercy Corps on worldwide deployment of A-VS units, wherever the need is greatest. Humanitarian partnerships such as these ensure that your donation to LifeMech will have a lasting, lifesaving impact across the globe.

* If you have access to the commercial-grade ventilators, use commercial-grade ventilators. A-VS design is developed to fill the gap in the situations when commercial-grade ventilators are not available. If you have an interest in manufacturing devices based on A-VS design, consult with your legal and regulatory advisors to ensure that you comply with any regulatory and legal regulations or requirements applicable to your territory/jurisdiction.