On July 29th, Festo and the Fraunhofer IPA were honoured for their developed App "Virus Fighter's Handbook" at the Award Ceremony of the Give a Breath Challenge in Munich, an ideas competition organised by Munich Re and the Fraunhofer Society to combat the corona crisis.
In their project, Festo and a team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) joined forces to develop the design of a digital manual based on an existing app in corporation with medical experts from several hospitals. Registered users receive information via the app on the use and maintenance of the newly developed equipment, with specific information provided on treating Covid-19 patients.
Cooperation between Festo and Fraunhofer IPA
With Smartenance, Festo provided an existing and stable platform that only needed minimal reprogramming. The Smartenance software is normally used for the maintenance and servicing of machines and systems in industrial production. The Fraunhofer team, which specialises in the development of didactic material in the field of medical technology, provided the training content.
The Virus Fighter's Handbook is to be made available to users worldwide free of charge, as an app for downloading and as a web application.
"I like the entrepreneurial spirit and courage of the team to take the initiative and seize opportunities spontaneously, even outside entrenched structures and processes. Being able to help people around the world fight corona with a purely digital product has given the team a special boost. Festo is proud that their idea has now been awarded a prize", Andreas Oroszi, Head of Digital Business at Festo, says.
Three competition categories
Munich Re and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft launched the Give a Breath Challenge in March. The challenge was split into three categories. The first category was for designs for non-invasive lung ventilators and oxygen concentrators, the second for the development of non-invasive respirator masks, and the third for the provision of information on the use of the equipment developed and basic knowledge on Covid-19 for additional support staff needed. With these three components, a complete respirator system can be set up.
Respirator concepts for worldwide use
It has to be possible to produce the equipment anywhere in the world using 3D printing or other fast manufacturing processes. The primary aim is to create the technological basis for the rapid local supply of ventilators to cope with imminent shortages in the local emergency treatment of Covid-19 patients and mitigate the impact of the pandemic for people affected worldwide.
Over 150 project designs from all over the world were submitted to the Challenge. The prize money and the implementation budget for the projects total one million euros.