In an effort to help hospitals deal with the coronavirus outbreak, the popular electronics repair site iFixit has announced that it is building a database containing repair information for hospital equipment.
The company's decision to put together a database stems from the fact that as the coronavirus spreads, the world's supply of ventilators will see a great deal more use and will need to be repaired quickly when they break down.
iFixit is calling for repair manuals for ventilators as well as for BiPAP machines that can also be used as ventilators.
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Currently finding repair manuals for medical equipment online is quite the challenge as only few resources such as Frank's Hospital Workshop exist. While some manufacturers do provide repair manuals online via their websites, others make these essential documents much harder to find.
Crowdsourcing repair information
iFixit will begin its campaign by collecting manuals for a variety of different hospital equipment. However, many of these manuals will likely be quite technical which is why the company also plans to break them down into guides for individual repairs.
Editor in chief at iFixit, Kyle Wiens provided more details on why it plans to break down the manuals into individual guides in a blog post, saying:
“Reading complex medical service manuals is challenging. They are full of engineering jargon and biomedical terminology. What happens when the biomed gets sick and a nurse is tasked with fixing a machine that she’s never worked on before? Finding the right place to start in the service manual can be challenging. So we’re going to break them up into useful guides. We’ll keep the full service manual online, but pull out the relevant sections so that they are easy to find and access.”
In addition to calling on users to upload manuals for medical equipment, iFixit is also asking the medical community to provide information on which ventilators they're currently using as well as which parts are the most likely to break.
You can find iFixit's new database here and contribute to it by creating new device pages by uploading photographs and manuals.
Via The Verge