Oro Valley business helping provide 1,000 ventilators to hospitals in Mexico

Stepping up in the COVID-19 fight

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An Oro Valley business that specializes in connecting people through technology is now working to connect people to critical life support.

As countries begin to reopen, the coronavirus is still a threat and equipment is still needed to handle potential outbreaks.

That’s why Electronic Design and Development Corporation (ED2), which normally builds 5G infrastructure hardware, has been making control devices for ventilators.

“The device has a motor that runs a cam that actually moves the lever up and down in order to create pressure and flow for the patient,” said Joel Blumke, the Vice President of Engineering at ED2 Corp. “We are doing all the electronics in order to create a system that will provide air to a patient. If you didn’t have a machine, you know, someone would have to be [pumping air] manually. It ended up being very simple for what we are used to doing, but it ended up being such a critical task.”

“A child-sized human is going to require breathing in different volumes, in different rates than an NFL linebacker or a 92-year-old grandmother,” said Ricardo Platt, the Director of Business Development at ED2.

Initially, the idea was to distribute ventilators to hospitals in the U.S.

“In the U.S., it’s more [a problem of] redistribution than not having enough ventilators,” said Platt. “Also, the regulatory approval process for something like this would take at least a year, and more likely two.”

A few weeks ago, ED2 Corp learned about the need in Mexico.

“[We’re told] they haven’t reached their peak yet and we know the hospitals are almost getting to capacity,” said Sergio Cardona, the President and CEO of ED2.

So, ED2 Corp partnered with Centro de Inovación y Prototipado (CIP) in Hermosillo, Sonora. CIP is a nonprofit trying to get ventilators to Mexican hospitals in need.

“We are excited and thankful to collaborate with ED2 and the other members of our team as we bring forward this project to benefit as many of our country men and women as we can,” said Geovani Ciscomani, the CEO of CIP.

“We expect the animal testing process to be concluded this week sometime,” said Platt. “The preliminary results have been extremely positive so far. [CIP] could be moving forward with initiating the manufacturing of 1,000 [ventilators] as early as the end of the month.”

Officials say the ventilators will be offered at low cost or, ideally, for free.

“It goes back to the individual that is going to use it; that could be a mom, a dad, a sister, aunt, uncle … and we care about that,” said Cardona. “It’s a way to do our civic duty.”

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