Written by: Members of the Ameniti Team
Edited by: Alexis Ha
Ventila began in March 2020 as a project of Ameniti. Ameniti provides Artificial Intelligence solutions for business, with hospitality being one important market. It offers modular, intuitive products for cross-channel communication and decision making.
Philip Vazquez is a telecommunications engineer who founded Ameniti after decades of witnessing hospitality’s inefficiencies. Leo Fitzsimmons works in real estate development and construction. The two met when collaborating on construction and property management software.
As COVID-19 hit the US, Leo and Philip wanted to make a meaningful contribution. Hotels were closed, and there was a shortage of medical facilities. They hatched a plan to use their connections and expertise to convert empty hotel rooms into medical facilities, with ventilators. Ventila was born, aggregating the knowledge of individuals working in technology, construction, manufacturing, and engineering. The project succeeded thanks to the help of many contributors, especially Sean FitzSimmons, Chris FitzSimmons, and Daniel Ruzeu.
Ventila was introduced to the Bridge Ventilator Consortium, which proved an essential resource for them, through its partnership with OxyGen Protofy. OxyGen, a Barcelona-based collaborative open project, became an essential resource for many developing countries. Ventila chose to partner with OxyGen, as it was the project most likely to get medical approval. Replication of the most promising European model that would mean faster mass production in the U.S.
Ventila produces two different models: an acrylic ventilator, Ventila LP, and a metal ventilator, Ventila OxyGen(Both are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org). The simplicity of Ventila’s mechanics and an ensured supply chain guarantee mass scalability. Ventila LP can be produced by anyone with a table router in hours, with no expertise. Ventila Oxygen is designed for industrial production and requires advanced machinery.
Time was crucial in Ventila’s response. Consulting doctors on the ground in NYC, Ventila learned the need for ventilators would peak on April 21. Beginning on March 22, Ventila was ready to begin mass production by the first week of April. Simplicity, scalability, and affordability meant a faster response to growing needs.
The OxyGen Protofy ventilator was approved for use in Spanish hospitals on April 3, after a series of tests that included animal and human validation. However, approval in the US required a large amount of documentation and paperwork. Ventila was proud to be selected to present its solution to BARDA, although due to delays, ventilator demand had declined by that time.
Ameniti is currently using its expertise on various initiatives, including using existing technologies to ensure safety. They are working with the government of Andorra on a new, international method for contact tracing. Ameniti’s expertise with the usage of both Google and Apple platforms, as well as their own technologies, made the company conformable to design a solution to allow tracing of citizens from all countries, even countries without a tracing app in place. Ameniti’s method validates positive tests and provides a private way to alert those who have come into contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19. This solution is universal, simple, and secure - the core of Ameniti’s value proposition.
An interconnected solution to contact tracing is one of the most important issues governments face. In the US right now, travel is limited between states, and some states have developed their own contact tracing apps. Universal tracing is essential if we want to return to an interconnected world, instead of worlds that are only connected virtually.