Mineola senior helps protect healthcare heroes through research project

Mineola senior helps protect healthcare heroes through research project
Mineola senior Keira Talty constructed a fully operational non-invasive ventilator that was connected to an Arduino Nano and an Arduino Nano 33 IoT. These Arduino components are used to completely control the non-invasive ventilator remotely, reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure for healthcare workers. (Photo courtesy of the Mineola Union Free School District)

Mineola High School senior Keira Talty is working to protect healthcare workers with her science research project. Throughout the pandemic, many COVID-19 patients were in the hospital because they were experiencing respiratory distress and therefore were put on non-invasive ventilators. The problem was that healthcare workers had to physically go into the patients’ rooms to control the ventilators, risking contracting the virus themselves and having to change their personal protective equipment each time.

In her Advanced Research 3 course, Talty developed a non-invasive ventilator that can be monitored and controlled from a remote location, such as a mobile device or computer – reducing the number of times practitioners and healthcare workers must visit a patient’s room and face the risk of contracting COVID-19. Talty’s fully operational non-invasive ventilator also integrates a pulse oximeter to measure a person’s oxygen saturation.

Talty began her project by researching non-invasive ventilators and followed up by reading through studies from other universities that produced their own ventilators at a low cost. Talty used some of those components, with the new added remote-controlled aspect to produce her ventilator at a significantly lower cost than commercial ones.

This past October, proof of concept was established at NYU Langone Medical Center. Biomedical engineers determined that Talty’s non-invasive ventilator was safe, effective and that all important parameters were well within the range of acceptable limits.

“We should all be so proud of Keira’s accomplishment producing an important medical device that can be operated remotely, protecting our courageous healthcare heroes,” said Bryanna Roche, Advanced Research 3 teacher. “We are thankful for the district’s support of the research program that allows students to create projects that contribute positively to our global society.

Currently, there is no one controlling BiPap or CPAP machines remotely. Talty is in the process of getting her non-invasive ventilator patented.


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