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Company-X developer fights COVID-19

May, 2021

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Company-X software developer Mark Nikora has joined the fight against COVID-19 by volunteering his time to a project designing and building low-cost remote control medical ventilators.

Nikora, who joined Company-X, a member of the EMA, in March after 20 years as an information technology lecturer at Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec), has been volunteering for the charitable Arden Auxiliary Medical Trust since January.

The trust is designing and building sophisticated low-cost medical ventilators to artificially respirate COVID-19 patients or provide oxygen through nasal canula or continuous/bilevel pressure.

The ArdenVent can be operated and controlled from an internet connection anywhere in the world.

The trust is also working on a low-cost oxygen concentrator, the ArdenOxyGen to be donated to developing countries expected to struggle with COVID-19 patients for years.

The not-for-profit ventilator and concentrator can be used in tandem.

The trust hopes that its contribution will lead to more data being collected concerning COVID-19 treatment protocol and further mutations.

“I wanted to get involved in a project that made use of my skills and was personally rewarding, so that I could be proud of contributing to something worthwhile,” Nikora said.

While New Zealand’s team of five million has kept COVID-19 out of the community, Nikora has developed an empathy for the rest of the world where the pandemic has been rife.

“I wanted to help. Rather than sit here at the bottom of the world I wanted to utilise my skills,” Nikora said.

“For Maori people, early last century, influenza had a strong effect on the population, with a high mortality rate, and that’s strongly embedded in our memory. So, when the pandemic came around, a lot of us took it deadly seriously because a lot of us have ancestors who were affected by it.”

Nikora spends up to eight hours per week on the project as one of an international team of about 50 led by co-founders and trustees Alan Thomas in Auckland and Michael Ilewicz in Germany.

Company-X co-founders and directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes are supportive or the project.

“This project is Kiwi ingenuity at its very best, solving the world’s problems with the perfect marriage of software and hardware,” Hallett said.

“We were thrilled to hear about the project and will support Mark in whatever way we can.”

The trust is recruiting volunteers to work on the project, as well as seeking funding for manufacture.

About Company-X

Company-X offers Silicon Valley level software savvy delivered with a Kiwi can-do attitude.

Founded in 2012 by software specialists David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes, Company-X immediately won contracts with New Zealand government departments and a Silicon Valley multinational.

The team has grown to nearly 60 New Zealand-based software specialists, with only the best and brightest passing the Company-X interview and assessment process.

The Company-X team prides itself with experience in a wide range of technologies and languages and loves challenging problems.

Company-X is the first Australasian reseller of RealWear head-mounted tablets.

Company-X ranked on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ Asia Pacific, a list of the fastest-growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific region, in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

For more information on Company-X:

For more information on Ardenvent:

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