Patient- and Ventilator-Specific Modeling to Drive the Use and Development of 3D Printed Devices for Rapid Ventilator Splitting During the COVID-19 Pandemic


In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a pressing need for an expansion of the ventilator capacity in response to the COVID19 pandemic. Reserved for dire situations, ventilator splitting is complex, and has previously been limited to patients with similar pulmonary compliances and tidal volume requirements. To address this need, we developed a system to enable rapid and efficacious splitting between two or more patients with varying lung compliances and tidal volume requirements. We present here a computational framework to both drive device design and inform patient-specific device tuning. By creating a patient- and ventilator-specific airflow model, we were able to identify pressure-controlled splitting as preferable to volume-controlled as well create a simulation-guided framework to identify the optimal airflow resistor for a given patient pairing. In this work, we present the computational model, validation of the model against benchtop test lungs and standard-of-care ventilators, and the methods that enabled simulation of over 200 million patient scenarios using 800,000 compute hours in a 72 h period.