Engineer and MSIH Alumnus, Dr. Tobin Greensweig designs a device to allow one ventilator to treat multiple COVID-19 patients
MSIH alumnus, Tobin Greensweig (class of 2014) was already an engineer before he started medical studies in 2010.
His personal web site describes him as “Husband, Critical Care Doctor, Pilot, Engineer, Nerd.” For the duration of his four years in Beersheba, Tobin always found time to work on projects, sometimes only tangentially connected to his medical studies. In his spare time – not a commodity common among medical students – he created an open-source patient record system for the Terem refugee clinic in Tel Aviv. Somewhere along the way, he also found time to coordinate a project with students at Ben-Gurion University’s Department of Computer Engineering.
For this reason it’s not surprising that Dr. Greensweig’s name is being quietly acknowledged in medical engineering circles while humanity confronts the worst pandemic since 1917.
As hospital wards overflow with asphyxiating patients, ventilators – the last resort for those for whom breathing is no longer enough – have become the holy grail of medical devices. Poor pandemic planning left medical systems gravely lacking this vital equipment and while politicians haplessly flail around trying to convince us that they know what they’re doing, people with the unique skills of Tobin Greensweig move in with practical solutions.
Along with wife, Melinda – a critical care nurse he met while both volunteered at the Tel Aviv refugee clinic – Tobin is on the front line, doing what he can to save peoples’ lives. His latest project, described on his web page is a SplitVent device is a 3D-printed part that allows more than one patient to be ventilated by a single machine. Reading the technical jargon, it’s clearly work that can only be done by someone with a thorough knowledge of engineering and medicine.
In the spirit of who he is, Tobin has shared all of his files on the Github open source forum so that other doctors and hospitals can use, apply, and adjust his ideas.
After graduating from MSIH, Tobin did his residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He’s now in his second year of his Critical Care Medicine fellowship in the Indiana University School of Medicine Pulmonary/Critical Care Program.
National Residency Matching Program – First Choice
“He is the only student I ever encountered who chose where to do his residency,” says Mike Diamond, who ran MSIH’s administration when Tobin was a student. “Most students wait nervously to hear where they’ve been placed in the National Residency Matching Program. Not Tobin. When I met him in early March 2014, he was chirping confidently about what he intended to do during residency at his chosen spot. Needless to say, he matched just where he wanted. He seemed to know that they needed him as much as he needed them.”
“Tobin is a fine example of the type of graduate that makes us very proud,” says Prof. Alan Jotkowitz, Director of MSIH. “Not only is he a fine doctor, but he uses his unique skills to help others, and makes his knowledge available for anyone to use. He’s one of many who are working on the front lines today, and we know he and his peers are saving many, many lives.”
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