Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Imperial College London researchers advance low-cost ventilator for developing countries


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 20th, 2021

Researchers at Imperial College London (ICL) have developed a low-cost ventilator that could address the shortage of ventilators in developing countries.

The new ventilator is both simpler and cheaper to make than current devices. The researchers initially designed it to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but now they are taking a more long-term approach, focusing on developing countries with ventilator shortages.

“ICU ventilators made by big manufacturers have always been too expensive and complex for developing countries to buy and maintain, so many of the less affluent parts of the world simply have minimal access to ventilators,” says Joseph van Batenburg-Sherwood, researcher at ICL and head of the project. “In addition, most of the new ventilator designs created for COVID-19 were based on emergency short-term manufacturing and are not appropriate for long-term intensive care support, which is desperately needed in [developing countries].”

In a recent study, the researchers found the new ventilator achieved all of the performance requirements set out in ISO 80601, the global standard for critical care ventilators. They also showed that the technology performs equally well with a home-use oxygen concentrator as it does with supplies found in a hospital setting.

“We are keen to bring our ventilator to as many hospitals as possible to combat serious respiratory diseases worldwide,” says ICL professor James Moore, who co-authored the study. “We have the right technology to help address this unmet medical need and hope to attract investment to help take it further.”

Source: Imperial College London

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