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When the COVID-19 pandemic hits Portugal in early March 2020, medical doctors, engineers and researchers, with the encouragement of the Northern Region Health Administration, teamed up to develop and build, locally and in a short time, a ventilator that might eventually be used in extreme emergency situations in the hospitals of northern Portugal. This letter tells you the story of Pneuma, a low-cost emergency ventilator designed and built under harsh isolation constraints, that gave birth to derivative designs in Brazil and Morocco, has been industrialized with 200 units being produced and is now looking forward to the certification as a medical device that will possibly support a go-to-market launch. Open intellectual property (IP), multidisciplinarity teamwork, fast prototyping and product engineering have shortened to a few months an otherwise quite longer idea-to-product route, clearly demonstrating that when scientific and engineering knowledge hold hands great challenges can be successfully faced.
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