Objective: The major automatic techniques that are available in commercial ventilators are described and a discussion of the recently developed systems along with the future trends in the field is provided.
Methods: The major available automatic control techniques for mechanical ventilation are analyzed and the future trends are discussed in view of today's ICU requirements and the recently developed technologies.
Results: Several major automatic techniques are available in commercial ventilators at this time. Those techniques have been in use successfully and are accepted by clinicians. At the same time, more advanced techniques have been and continue to be developed by various researchers that are designed for more aggressive use of automation in control of ventilation and oxygenation in different phases of ventilatory treatment.
Conclusions: Automatic control of mechanical ventilation can significantly improve patient care in the ICUs, reduce the mortality and morbidity rates associated with provision of inappropriate ventilatory treatments, and reduce healthcare costs. Development of more effective and robust systems that can have high noise immunity and provide effective treatment to patients automatically in different phases of treatment will likely gain increasing momentum in the years to come.