NCKU shares its open-source design of COVID-19 quarantine unit to provide emergency assistance

April 29, 2020
“National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) as a research-intensive university recognized for its social undertaking has the responsibilities to be the guiding light and therefore to lead for a better outlook at the time society is meeting its historical challenges,” NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su said in her opening remarks for a recent press conference held in the University community.
“We are very proud to declare that we are the first in the world to have developed a readily deployable quarantine hospital with innovation and human needs incorporated into the design,” said President Su at the press conference in the morning of April 28.
NCKU together with Bio-architecture Formosana (BAF) developed an integrated emergency medical shelter named “Quarantine unit for recovery Emergency, and Ecology (QurE)”, which is now available as an open-source document to share with the international community.
Each quarantine unit is built to function as a negative-pressure isolation ward, which will greatly improve the safety of medical workers as they treat patients.
“The QurE is not perfect, but it is ready to be used in every corner around the world,” President Su stated, “and the design can be continuously improved upon by other parties according to their needs.”
President Su hailed the collaboration and claimed that this is an example of intellectuals bearing the pressure and challenge, and shouldering its responsibility, and finally, in front of the world, reveal a spectacular starting point of technology-based solutions for addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is how the university serves the world with knowledge,” said President Su. “The core value of the entire project is to make it available for the world, therefore people can really participate in their specific functions or purpose,” Su added.
Tainan City Mayor Wei-Cher Huang recognized and applauded the efforts of the University and said, “We have seen frontline medical workers in Europe, the U.S., and China being infected by the coronavirus while treating patients, and ensuring the health and safety of medical workers as they carry out their tasks is of the utmost interest for all.”
According to NCKU Hospital Superintendent Meng-Ru Shen, NCKU has organized an R&D design team that spans medicine, architecture, and engineering, and combined the strength of industry and academia to create a prototype of quarantine hospital for COVID-19 treatments.
Superintendent Shen indicated that NCKU Hospital has been using digitalized quarantine processes and artificial intelligence-assisted diagnosis as part of its coronavirus response.
“12 out of 16, or 75 percent, of confirmed coronavirus cases in Tainan have been detected and treated at NCKU Hospital. In the past three months, it has mobilized approximately 3,000 medical workers and quarantined roughly 1,500 of the city's people,” Shen said.
Ching Hwa Chang, founder of BAF, said, “we design a prototype in 2 weeks, it started as a virtual 3D model, to communicate with the general public, we decided to build a 1:1 realistic structure instead.”
One of the most important features is its modular assembly design, enabling workers to be able to assemble a single suite-type negative pressure isolation ward without having to worry about cross-infection between patients in less than three days, said Chang.
Another feature of the design is integrating E Ink's reflective display technology into the patient Information displays, which are easy to read at any viewing angle and just like paper, are easy on the eyes.
As a manifesto on embracing innovation and technology, the QurE is devised to provide its patients with the best medical care and long-term wellness.
Please feel free to download the design manual regarding QurE Design Manual V1.0