Novel times call for novel solutions—a truth that certainly rings true in the case of inventive healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals. Just look at how they are handling ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dongle is handmade, little more than a circuit board encased in plastic with two connectors. One side goes to a ventilator’s patient monitor, another goes to the breath delivery unit. A third cable connects to a computer. “It’s a little box that goes in between the monitor and the breath delivery unit,” William, a ventilator refurbisher, said. “It’s made custom. The case is an old clock case.”

This little dongle—shipped to him by a hacker in Poland—has helped William repair at least 70 broken Puritan Bennett 840 ventilators that he’s bought on eBay and from other secondhand websites. He has sold these refurbished ventilators to hospitals and governments throughout the United States, to help them handle an influx of COVID-19 patients. Motherboard agreed to speak to William anonymously because he was not authorized by his company to talk to the media, but Motherboard verified the specifics of his story with photos and other biomedical technicians

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