• The U.S. Army has selected the first two companies to provide two prototypical medical ventilators capable of operating in austere environments. The awards are the first under the service's xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge launched earlier this month. Credit: Nhemz/Shutterstock
     The U.S. Army has selected the first two companies to provide two prototypical medical ventilators capable of operating in austere environments. The awards are the first under the service's xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge launched earlier this month. Credit: Nhemz/Shutterstock

Two Companies to Prototype COVID-19 Ventilators

April 24, 2020


The Army chooses first two xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge winners.


Spiro Devices LLC, and AirMid Critical Care Products Inc., have been awarded $100,000 prizes for their emergency ventilator designs as part of the ongoing U.S. Army’s xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge launched earlier this month.

On April 5, the Army called for ideas for a low-cost, easily manufactured, deployable ventilator that could operate in austere and rural environments. In just 10 days, 150 American companies, academic institutions and individuals submitted their concepts, with a chance at winning $5,000 if invited to present their ideas. The goal of the Army xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge is to produce 10,000 ventilator units within eight weeks.

The xTech judges invited eight of the initial 150 respondents to present virtual pitches. Two companies emerged with different ideas that met all of the criteria. Spiro proposed a breathing bag-based solution, and AirMid proposed a bellows-based technology. The Army xTech Program guide the companies through the process to develop their ideas into products.

The Army xTech COVID-19 Ventilator Challenge has no deadline and is still accepting submissions. Go to www.xtechsearch.army.mil for more information and to submit ventilator concepts for consideration.

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