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Ted O’Connell, MD, discusses his role helping to increase critical oxygen supply during the pandemic


In a recent Q&A with AMA News, Ted O’Connell, MD, family medicine physician with The Permanente Medical Group, discussed his role in developing ”OxiKit” — an open-source oxygen concentrator that can be used in parts of the world where oxygen equipment is scarce during the pandemic.

Headshot of Ted O'Connell, MD
Ted O’Connell, MD

Dr. O’Connell explained how he and a team of engineers made the blueprint to OxiKit freely available so that builders and individual communities facing oxygen crises have ready access to written instructions on how to build and produce it.

“We wanted to give people the confidence that they could—in their communities or wherever they were around the world—get together and build one of these in a matter of days, and then potentially save lives in their community,” said Dr. O’Connell. “We had already put all the information on a website, in terms of the designs for the project and schematics for it. Our engineer did a whole series of videos demonstrating the build process.”

Since openly sourcing the design, the oxygen concentrator has been built by several health organizations across the world and is being deployed in developing countries within Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East.

Dr. O’Connell recently won a President’s Volunteer Service Award from the White House and AmeriCorps for his role in developing the oxygen concentrator, which has been nationally recognized.

Note: Read the full Q&A on AMA News.

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