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Montreal hospitals launch ventilator design challenge amid coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video 'Montreal hospital foundation launches ventilator challenge' Montreal hospital foundation launches ventilator challenge
WATCH: With a worldwide shortage of the number of ventilators needed to help treat the victims of COVID-19, one Montreal hospital foundation has launched a contest for new ones to be designed and built. Global's Tim Sargeant has the details – Mar 20, 2020

A new and potentially life-saving initiative has been launched seeking individuals or corporations to design a ventilator that can eventually be built and used during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The competition is sponsored by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and the Montreal General Hospital Foundation.

The Code Life Ventilator Challenge is looking for the best ideas from anywhere in the world to compete.

Ventilators are in short supply in many parts of the world as physicians rely on them to help treat and patients who’ve contracted the deadly disease.

READ MORE: Coronavirus pandemic puts Canada’s supply of ventilators in the spotlight

“I think a big part of this challenge is looking at design solutions that could be shared so that it could be made available to many, and therefore you’re not necessarily limited by current manufacturers,” Jean-Guy Gourdeau, Montreal General Hospital Foundation CEO, told Global News.

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The MUHC currently has 235 ventilators, enough to meet existing demand, spokesperson Annie-Claire Fournier, told Global News in an email Thursday.

But the researchers behind the initiative want hospitals to be prepared in the event there is a surge in demand as the number of COVID-19 cases increases.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus outbreak: Canada to help medical equipment makers scale-up production' Coronavirus outbreak: Canada to help medical equipment makers scale-up production
Coronavirus outbreak: Canada to help medical equipment makers scale-up production – Mar 20, 2020

“We’re looking for great innovation so it’s hard to tell what people are going to come up with. It’s sure it will be very interesting and innovative,” Dr. Reza Farivar, MGH-MUHC research facility director, told Global News.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday the federal government is trying to mobilize companies to get involved in building health-care equipment that can help in the fight against the novel coronavirus, including ventilators.

“This initiative will help companies that are already making things like masks, ventilators and hand sanitizer to massively scale up production,” Trudeau said from Ottawa.

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The Code Life Ventilator Challenge runs until the end of March.

More details can be found here.