GCRF_NF437 High Performance Low Cost Ventilator (HPLV) project

Lead Research Organisation: STFC - Laboratories
Department Name: Technology

Abstract

The unmet need addressed by the High Performance Low-cost Ventilator (HPLV) project is the shortage of ventilators for patient care in OECD DAC list countries. The global pandemic of COVID-19 has highlighted this lack of ventilators which is in-turn compounded by a shortage of trained staff available to operate them. Beyond COVID-19, there remain the critical requirements of caring for pneumonia patients and others suffering from acute respiratory conditions in the OECD DAC-list countries.

This project takes as its starting point the HEV (High Energy physics Ventilator) developed by the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva with advice and guidance from WHO with the aim of being suitable for OECD DAC list use. HEV has been developed using techniques routinely used in the context of CERN research, including for delivery and regulation of gases, and for sophisticated monitoring and control. Nevertheless, HEV was designed to be reasonably priced, robust, easily maintained and able to operate in an environment where oxygen supply pressure is variable, power is unreliable and few trained staff are available. The result is a resilient and simple design with comprehensive in-built options for remote training, monitoring, and operation, which does not compromise on either performance or functionality, but allows easy operation via a multi-lingual user interface.

Within this HPLV project, partners in Brazil will identify local difficulties encountered when ventilating patients and input that information to the design team working on re-engineering the HEV ventilator into an HPLV design. Regulatory experts in the UK will also provide valuable guidance on this re-engineering activity. As well as re-engineering an HPLV prototype in line with real-world advice from Brazil, the HPLV project team will provide the necessary documentation to accompany the HPLV design, such that it is ready for regulatory approval. This is a key milestone to enabling commercial organisations to bridge the gap between prototyping and manufacture for use in a medical environment.

The end point of this project will be reached when the new re-engineered HPLV prototype has been successfully tested in Brazil and the technical file is available for companies to use when they license the design for manufacture and sale to OECD DAC list users.

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