Spirit in Creation: Vent-I, An Innovation Product against Covid19 Pandemic in Indonesia

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“I just could not stay at home during the lockdown. I’d prefer to die standing up rather than die kneeling” Dr. Syarif Hidayat, M.T., the leader of Vent-I team. The advent of Vent-I came from challenges and threats posed by SARS-Cov2 outbreak in Indonesia, at the beginning of 2020, during which we were strongly encouraged to socially withdraw ourselves and minimize activities outside home.

One of the major challenges during Covid19 pandemic was the vast increase of covid19 cases while the limited supply of logistic needed to treat patients. This is clearly catastrophic especially for severe and critical patients  who must be treated immediately.

Therefore, to circumvent the situation, a small team, initially consists of Dr. Syarief Hidayat, Jam’ah Halid, S.Si. , M.Si., Ir. Hari Utomo dan Ir. Mipi Ananta Kusuma was formed on 23 March 2020 o create ventilator and it got well reception from a varied parties.

The early development of the vent-I was initially funded by Rumah Amal Salman (RAS), a non-profit organization of Salman Mosque of ITB, then, many lecturers of ITB, Professor Tatacipta Dirgantara, Dr. Sandro Mihrasi, Dr. Sri Raharno, Professor Trio Adiono dan Adi Indrayanto, Ph.D, as well as an alumni of ITB, Ir. Hari Tjahjono decided to join the group.

Additionally, the project is also conducted by physicians of various expertise, Dr. dr. Ike Sri Redjeki, Sp.AnKIC, KMN, M.Kes., dr. Dadang Rukanta, Sp.OT., dr. Reza Widianto Sudjud, Sp.AnKIC, KAKV, M.Kes., dr. Rully Herman Sitanggang, Sp.AnKIC, KAP,M.Kes in order to guarantee the quality of the ventilator to accordingly meet the clinical standards.

Ultimately, the group involves a multidisciplinary professionals coming from three institutions, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universitas Padjajaran, and Salman Mosque of ITB Founder Institution (YPM Salman ITB). In accordance with its vision to empower its mosque as the center of civilization, Salman mosque of ITB has been turned into a laboratory where the development of Ven-I was taken place.

Vent-I, which was initially made of plastic box and washing machine hose (Fig. 1), is now transformed into a high-quality product complying with the strict health requirements. Research and development team involves volunteers of an interdisciplinary students from various universities, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, and Telkom University.

One of the volunteers, Ashari (ITB 2016) said, “I have gained invaluable lessons and experience by conducting research on Vent-I because I meet and work with people from various knowledge backgrounds, both fellow students and teaching staffs of notable universities. Also, I am thankful to my parents for giving me their blessing in joining this team.”

Through a long process of product testing conducted by Department of Public Health, Indonesian Ministry of Health, Vent-I has successfully passed the test on 22 April 2020. Despite the laborious task, the great work of the team, supported by the proactive supervision of the authorities, is the key to have the Vent-I achieved the standard set by the government without compromising its quality.

Key features of Vent-I:

100% National Product

In addition, Vent-I has undergone the clinical test for two weeks at different hospitals, such as RSUP Dr. Hasan Sadikin of Public Hospital Center of Bandung, Advent Hospital of Bandung, Santosa Hospital Bandung Central, Al-Ihsan Public Regional Hospital, Tk.II Dustira Hospital, Pulmonary Hospital, Melinda 2 Hospital, dr. Suyoto rehabilitation hospital of Indonesian Ministry of Defense, and Public Regional Hospital of Cibabat, and Wisma Atlet Hospital.

Several crucial parameters were examined during test, such as effect of Vent-I usage on oxygen saturation level of patients’ blood (SpO2), patients’ pulse rate and blood pressure. Dr. Reza explained that the clinical tests resulted in improvement of patients’ condition. This was attributable to the improvement of patients’ oxygenation level, causing the organs to function better.

Additional parameters were assessed, such as Positive End Expiratory Pressure (PEEP) stability, patients’ comfort level when using the machine, machine stability and electricity, machine noise level. The clinical testing result was submitted to the Directorate General of Pharmacy and Medical Device Services of the Indonesian Ministry of Health on 13 May 2020. Then, Vent-I obtained distribution license by the Indonesian Ministry of Health.

In response to this, the fundraising team of Rumah Amal Salman (RAS) ITB started to launch a massive campaign to gain financial support. With the immense response from the society, the initial target of producing 100 ventilators increased to 1000 ventilators, supported by 2048 donors, which include individuals, communities, and companies, donating more than 12 billion IDR.

The production started from the middle of May 2020 until July 2020. The production team had to work round-the-clock to produce thousands of Vent-I. At the same time, three companies, coming from both state-owned and private enterprises, began to work on industrial scale production, aided by the students of different institutions, such as vocational high school, polytechnic institution, and universities.

Dr. Syarif Hidayat, M.T. the leader of Vent-I team

Simultaneously, Vent-I ventilators were distributed to hospitals throughout Indonesia to receive feedbacks from healthcare workers because feedbacks are essential to improve the quality of the Vent-I. The team also arranged a webinar to educate the healthcare workers about Vent-I.

Finally, Vent-I team organize a public agenda to present its accountability report regarding the Vent-I production. It was arranged in a leisure event on 24 July 2020, titled “Sharing the final progress of Vent-I”. Vent-I is one of the products coming from the collaboration between academy, business, community, government, and media (ABCGM) with its spirit of “Innovation and Communal Work.