Spurred by the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at Princeton and Google are applying mechanical engineering and artificial intelligence to increase the availability and effectiveness of ventilation treatments worldwide.
Ventilators and their support equipment are expensive and complex devices that require expert attention from doctors and other highly trained medical workers. The devices must be carefully calibrated and monitored to ensure they are meeting a range of parameters — pressure, volume, breath rate — tuned to each individual patient. Often, these measures change during treatment, requiring further tuning.
If that monitoring and adjustment is handled by artificial intelligence, it could ease the burden on medical workers and allow ventilators to be deployed in areas with staffing shortages. That was the logic that led Elad Hazan, a professor of computer science and director of Google AI Princeton, and Daniel Cohen, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, to launch the project.