The Philippines Star reports on a great example of a medical technology locally invented, patented and deployed for public benefit. Dr. Enrique Ostrea is a Filipino neonatologist. He was concerned about premature infants born in public hospitals with respiratory problems. They often died unnecessarily because there were no ventilators. The price of commercial ventilators was prohibitive for under resourced public hospitals. He was inspired by the sight of nurses hand pumping with inflatable bags to keep babies alive.
The led to a collaboration between Dr. Ostrea and engineers from the University of the Philippines and the Department of Science and Technology. They created the OstreaVent, a simple ventilator driven by pressure and time, which has undergone significant testing and is now an effective and safe alternative to more expensive commercial machines.
The OstreaVent machine is protected by a patent. The patent was donated to the Breath of Life Foundation a non profit entity which now distributes OstreaVent ventilators around the Philippines. They recently held a fundraising concert to raise more money to distribute more machines.