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Summary aims to accelerate using of scientifically and clinically proven NIV by helmet protocols and save more lives.



The Problem

Covid-19 pandemic created major shortage of ventilators and clinical staff at intensive care units (ICU) worldwide and more deaths. Moreover, traditional mechanical ventilation/intubation requires expensive & advanced medical equipment, requires highly-skilled clinicians & sedatives, tough on patient with high mortality risk at ~80% & tough on ICU staff to care for the intubated patient.

Link to infographic regarding alternative ventilation methods: Comparison of Helmet NIV, Face Mask and Invasive Mechanical Ventilation

Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) using helmets was a scientifically and clinically proven treatment method for patients with respiratory distress, including covid-19, widely used in Europe, Italy in particular, but almost unknown in USA and many other countries. We saw a major urgent need to build trust and increase awareness among clinicians and hospitals, ramp-up production capacity and obtain regulatory (FDA) approvals and fast and convenient training on-the-go for the overwhelmed ICU staff.

Link to infographic on USA & Italy - The Contrast in COVID-19 Treatment (March 2020)

Our Solution

Combining a set of interdisciplinary know-how, experience, skills and dedicated effort, harnessing the collective intelligence of wide flux networks, connecting fast in less than six-degrees of separation, we have created from scratch a highly focused and specialized website, mobile smart procedures for helmet ventilation (NIV) on iOS and Android platforms, hands-on video reviews, webinars and other content, aiming to:

  • create, curate and disseminated scientific information and insights from clinical practitioners at ICUs;
  • facilitate ramping up of manufacturing facilities & new engineering inventions, accelerate decision-making & regulatory approvals; 
  • create an easy-to-use mobile-first training solution for the overwhelmed doctors & nurses at the intensive care units worldwide, and
  • save more lives.

Key challenges faced

  1. Urgency and cutting through the overflooded media noise, limited attention span and energy to learn new methods by the overwhelmed medical staff
  2. Rapid building of general and clinical awareness in a highly advanced and specialized medical field
  3. Building overall trust in the method and our website as a valid source of scientific and practical information
  4. Facilitating engineering inventions, encouraging donors and investors to ramp-up, build or adjust manufacturing facilities and helmet supply, especially in economically disadvantaged communities, when many countries closed exports of medical goods in spring 2020

Our approach

  1. Agile action 24/7, as team members are based in different time zones around the world. In few hours from a random dinner conversation we had a website launched and in 57 days already consulted NASA, Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company engineers
  2. Complimentary combination of expertise and skills: team-lead medical expert, directly involved in clinical trials with and MBA capstone paper on the subject, digital marketing entrepreneur, highly-networked strategic management expert, advisors from universities and hospitals, public relations experts to get noticed by the leading global media outlets   
  3. Harnessing of wide personal networks, collective intelligence, placing personal reputation at stake, facilitating emergence of grass-root expert networks, consisting of university scholars, clinical practitioners, inventors and manufacturers, private engineering initiatives
  4. Creating a public depository of protocols and designs, hands-on video reviews, newsletters, webinars, active presence on social media channels, including dedicated Facebook group. 
  5. Encouraging and facilitating donor/investor activity to address directly manufacturing capacity and raw material supply needs as well as equipment donations to the hospitals. 

Results so far became the leading source worldwide for specialized quality information on non-invasive helmet-based ventilation. We have directly facilitated development of new helmet models, donations to hospitals and provided online trainings and webinars for the clinical practitioners at intensive care units in USA, Canada, Chile, Brazil, India, Poland, Lithuania and elsewhere. Our team was shortlisted as finalist for the Global Lithuanian Leaders Award 2020 in the category "For Global Experience Against Pandemic Challenges" (a winner to be selected on January 18, 2021) and the team leader Aurika Savickaite was shortlisted as finalist for the Women Tech Network Global Awards 2020 in the category "Women-Led Startup of the Year". Currently we continue developing a more in-depth training course as it is of utmost importance to provide a proper training for clinical staff since the very beginning of introduction of new methods in order for them to succeed.

We are confident our solution is a perfect example of novel way to rapidly share validated information, accelerate the real life application of science-based medical treatment methods even in such conservative and highly regulated industries as healthcare, facilitate communication among scientific community and leading professionals worldwide, build trust and make the broader audience aware and interested in scientific insights and solutions.  

Who will take these actions?

We are committed to continue developing our project and look for more stakeholders to get involved:

- mentoring from the MIT Pandemic Response Colab to complete our training course in development

- increase awareness among hospital decision makers to procure the helmets - they can be used not only in the pandemics, but also for other patients with respiratory distress

- training and encourage clinicians to use novel treatment methods

- donors to contribute our efforts to build and runwww.helmetbasedventilation.comwebsite

- engineers and inventors to continue new model designs

- investors to build-up manufacturing capacities world-wide to address the urgent capacity shortages at hospitals 

- scientists and researches to continue research on helmet-based ventilation, in particular for covid-19 patients, also research on the power of flux networks and collective intelligence in agile decision and change making.


What are the projected costs?


- website development and support

- training course development and support

- marketing and further awareness building

- travel/participation at major conferences


Our website is up and running already. We estimate further 2-3 months (or faster to complete the full training course, 2 out of 6 modules are already prepared)

About the author(s)

Aurika Savickaite, Team lead

Aurika Savickaite, RN, MSN, was involved in the successful testing of the helmet ventilator in the ICU at the University of Chicago during a three-year trial study. While in pursuit of a Master of Science in Nursing – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner degree at Rush University College of Nursing (2014), she wrote her capstone paper, Noninvasive Positive Pressure Ventilation (NIPPV) for Treatment of Acute Respiratory Failure in Immunocompromised Patient, based on her experience with ventilation via the helmet. She has worked as a registered nurse and patient care manager at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Medical Intensive Care Unit, and as a staff nurse at Vilnius University Hospital, Santariskiu Clinic ICU and earned a Bachelor of Rehabilitation and Nursing at Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine in 2001. Currently, she is a member of the Chicagoland Lithuanians Rotary Club.

Viktorija Trimbel

27+ years of of excellent professional track-record in strategy, corporate governance, M&A, digital entrepreneurship, research & analysis, leading and managing highly complex business projects. Her current professional and research interests focus on the convergence of power of the flux networks, collective intelligence, platform/network governance. Viktorija has been mentoring startup companies and entrepreneurs for over 15 years and was listed among Top-100 Women in Tech in Europe 2012. Additionally, she became the first female Governor 2020-2021 of the District 1462 (Lithuania) and was invited to join as the Member at the Membership Committee of Rotary International (USA) 2020-2023, became the Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) in 2015 and received the National Rotary Award in 2019. 

David Lukauskas

An entrepreneur and a biohacker, involved in marketing and advertising for businesses to reach online and in-person customers for nearly 15 years as a business owner and founder. 

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