Invention Coach:

Robert L. Read

Public Inventor(s):

Lauria Clarke, Geoff Mulligan


Ventilators are life-critical components that can provide both invasive and non-invasive respiratory support for COVID-19 patients. Particularly when used for critically ill invasively ventilated patients, these are life-critical machines that must be extensively tested and verified.


After Public Invention began the Ventilator Verification Project  on March 15th to address the ventilator shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and compiled a huge list of projects, it became clear that best way to help was not by building yet another ventilator, but building a module that could be reused to test and monitor any ventilator. In fact, along with Jenny Filipetti, we have argued modularity is the key to the whole community being successful.

We therefore created the VentMon , a device that simply plugs into the airway of a breathing circuit and measures the parameters of an operating ventilator that are carefully controlled by clinicians. On May 2nd, we shipped the first 2 VentMons to teams building ventilators to assist with their efforts. We also published the Public Invention Respiration Data Standard (PIRDS), as a means for teams world-wide to share data. Geoff Mulligan created a data logger that anyone can use (you don’t need a VentMon!) and we used it to make a public, totally free data lake where teams can collaborate by seeing live data traces. This uses free, reusable software to make a display similar to what a clinician uses.

The VentMon project is, like all Public Invention projects, completely free and open, and is even given away free to teams in need.

On April 14th, Protocol Labs gave Public Invention a $20,000 a COVID 19 Open Innovation Grant to support the VentMon.

On April 29th, the Mozilla Open Source Software (MOSS) Foundation gave us an additional $20,000 grant.

These funds will be used to get the VentMon to as many teams as quickly as possible. There is a world-wider supply chain shortage of flow sensors, which makes this more complicated than it would be without the pandemic.



Active with three volunteers, currently shipping units free of charge

Skills Needed

Embedded systems computer programmers, standards writers, publicists, social media specialist


This project has already created a number of important reusable components:

Photo Gallery


Request A VentMon

VentMon Request Form

  • Please enter email of person who will sign Memo of Understanding
  • Please enter email of person who will be using the VentMon (if different than primary contact)