Singer commends Illinois RapidAlarm team


Grainger College of Engineering

Andrew Carl Singer
Andrew Carl Singer

Designs of alarm and sensor package for emergency ventilators now available for download

A team from The Grainger College of Engineering has released the design of an alarm and sensor package for emergency, pressure-cycled ventilators. Called Illinois RapidAlarm, it can be used with the Illinois RapidVent, as well as a wide range of commercial and developing emergency ventilators that would otherwise require constant monitoring by critical care staff, dramatically limiting the ability to provide care to more patients than available medical staff. Illinois ECE Professor Andrew Carl Singer, Fox Family Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Dean for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in The Grainger College of Engineering, had some words of praise for the team.

“It was truly inspiring to have engineers from the University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering, experts from Creative Thermal Solutions, and medical professionals for Carle Hospital working together quickly and efficiently to bring this device from concept to engineering prototype in such a short timeframe. The entrepreneurial spirit and engineering talent in this community clearly demonstrated the value that academic innovation ecosystems like ours provide the region, the state, and the nation,” said Singer.

“This was created with strong, continuous input from medical professionals at Carle Hospital and is made to be used by critical care medical staff for situations like those we are currently facing.  Engineering graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, faculty, and staff all pitched in to this project in a Herculean effort,” said Singer, who led the development of the RapidAlarm project.

Illinois RapidAlarm connects to an emergency ventilator and monitors pressure delivered to the patient airway. It sounds an audible alarm when the system is not operating properly or when the patient is showing signs of respiratory distress and displays information on oxygen pressure (PIP and PEEP) and the patient’s breathing rate (respiration rate).

"This was a truly collaborative process between the Carle medical staff and the Grainger Engineering team. The Illinois RapidAlarm system can be easily integrated into the connecting tubing for emergency ventilators, such as the Illinois RapidVent. It provides the basic alarms that I need to care for patients on emergency ventilators when those ventilators do not have internal alarm systems," Karen White, MD, PhD, an intensivist at Carle Foundation Hospital and a faculty member in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

Grainger Engineers are addressing the COVID-19 crisis is a variety of ways including RapidAlarm and RapidVent, personal protective equipment, COVID testing, and pandemic modeling and simulation. Find out more at:

The Illinois RapidAlarm hardware designs, software designs, and documentation are available for download at Individuals and manufacturers can build the Illinois RapidAlarm from readily available parts and adapt the device to their needs.

Singer is affiliated with the Beckman Institute and the CSL

Check out the original article on the Grainger Engineering site.