UAE shines bright amid COVID-19 as DFF unveils its M061 ventilator

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Revolutionary Emirati Project, M061 is Latest in UAE’s Relentless Efforts to Strengthen Healthcare Sector to Meet Challenges of COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The team of researchers only took eight weeks to develop a system for the ventilator.
  • The ventilator unit named M061 is made from easily available parts in existing supply chains.
  • The device can be effortlessly assembled and upscaled as per requirement.
  • The M061 is specially devised to meet the challenges in the unprecedented conditions of COVID-19.

UAE researchers have achieved an extraordinary feat by building a mechanical ventilator prototype in just eight weeks, to meet the supplementary demands of the country’s healthcare amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The project team designed and built a modular and scalable prototype ventilator system called M061 which depends on plug-and-play parts that are simple to source and combine.

Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), stated that Project M061 was launched and performed under the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to meet the urgent requirement for large quantities of mechanical ventilators that perform a significant part in managing patients with critical symptoms of COVID-19.

By closely examining current ventilator configurations, experts recognized functionality and durability as two important factors that would make differentiate M061 ventilator. They experimented with prototype medical ventilators systems that could give oxygen to patients for longer periods and efficiently readjust to differences in vital indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate and temperature.

The ventilator has been specially devised to meet the unprecedented conditions created by the current pandemic and relieve the burden on UAE’s healthcare systems during the emergency. The prototype is designed to support, rather than substitute, existing hospital ventilators that have comprehensive medical applications and are meant to last for considerably longer durations.

The Project M061 team prepares to perform a meticulous testing cycle, under the guidance of pulmonary specialists and clinicians in the hospital.

The healthcare project has been a collaboration between the DFF, Office of Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Dubai COVID19 Command and Control Centre, Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dubai Health Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, as well as government agencies, research centers and international institutions.

During the advancements, the team complied with standard professional engineering practices to ensure that the ventilator adhered to the highest quality standards and obtained feedbacks from ventilator specialists currently attending COVID-19 patients.

Specialties of M061 ventilator

The M061 ventilator prototype comprises of mechanical airway made of tubes, connected with various valves, sensors and filters and is competent in giving invasive and non-invasive mechanical respiratory assistance with the intention of maintaining respiratory assistance for both short- and long-term periods. Including a custom printed circuit board (PCB), the prototype has an easy to operate interface with several types of I/O (input/output) devices.

The M061 prototype has been devised to address the individual demands of patients by providing multiple modes of ventilation in the pressure and volume mode families, along with additional assistive and supportive functions, based on the patient’s breathing capability.