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Order Up! — our first batch of projects is reviewed!

Wave 1 Projects: Crowdsourced Peer-Review Method

Helpful Engineering’s initial wave of funding sought well-formed projects with quick and simple deployment. A group of 18 engineers, product designers, manufacturers, and MDs with field-experience in COVID-19 treatment started reviewing project proposals, assigning top priority projects that had the highest quality review, the lowest cost, and the shortest development period. Within our wider community, we invited our qualified members to participate in a peer review of proposals.

Review Distribution

Although the distribution of project review was somewhat uneven, most were reviewed at least three times, and all were reviewed by at least one MD. In the future, peer-review of projects will occur in rounds, with the manual assignment of reviewers for each individual proposal. Additional improvements for future waves include replacing proposal titles with numbers to remove “catchy” project names, to limit their effect on reviewing patterns.

Proposal Ranking

Desirable traits, Average quality score and Time have been plotted, showing the top right corner of desirable projects
This objectively ranked the proposals based on raw score and timeframe alone in the above ranking table

The Project which achieved the best progress was Project PPE:

Finally, reviewers selected “Hardware Production Capabilities Database” as the Best Software project, ranking it as a top-quality concept with minimal time/cost requirements. This proposal establishes a database of local production capabilities for ventilators. 

Top 5 Hardware projects selected through peer-review:

  • Project Tube Connectors
    • Low cost, high manufacturability, high quality, and very low time requirements.
  • Hardware PPE
    • Low cost, high manufacturability, low time requirements. 
    • This project had achieved the most progress at the time of the review. A simple, clear, and scalable project to deliver otherwise scarce necessities.
  • DIY Flowhood
    • High quality, low cost.
  • Offset Ventilator
    • Low cost, moderate manufacturability, and very low time requirements. 
    • This was selected as our ventilator. 
    • With a high score, simple and fast production (3D printed parts)
    • Approved by Anaesthesiologists.
  • O2 Concentrator
    • Anaesthesiologists indicated that this project, despite a longer development timeline, was of critical importance, citing the shortage of O2 pipeline supply.

From Wave 1, please check below Peer Review Summary recommendation for Official projects:

  • Definitely, we will push the database and tube connectors projects, as these require little to no funding.
  • Though Hardware PPE is the highest rated Hardware project, technically it will take more time for development.
  • O2 concentrator is highly recommended by anaesthesiologists and achieved a high score, but it needs more funding and time.
  • Offset ventilator is MD approved, simple and easy to manufacture. Its speed and “Can build anywhere” traits mean it is perfect for a worldwide humanitarian effort and DIY builds.

4 Way Ventilator Splitter was ruled out due to safety concerns raised by MDs and microbiologists 

What will we do next?

• The projects discussed are now marked as “Official” and we will attempt to help them in a concentrated way.
• All projects should continue to strive for better documentation, Wave 2 of proposal submission will involve technical details.
• Review of Wave 2 will take longer,and have more publicity to ensure fairer review processes and more reviews.
• Please accomplish your goals without us as well! Mitigate for power, money and help to get your project solving the COVID crisis

Analysis of Wave 1 projects can be found here

Also, a complete list of projects submitted during Wave 1 can be found at this link:

When is the next Wave of Review?

Second wave for Grant Application and Peer Review is open!

If you wish to submit a project to be helped by our team in a concentrated way, please use a copy of this template:

and submit this template to:

Please note, only proposals submitted through this form will be accepted.

Welcome to the hive.

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Community Update – June 2022

Hello, HELPFUL Community! Your C-Team wants to share what everyone has been doing to advance HELPFUL!   First up – Project Diversification!