01 May ALHI founding partners to develop field ventilator for coronavirus
Leading respiratory scientists from ALHI’s founding partners 4Dx Ltd, South Australian Institute for Medical Research (SAHMRI) and University of Adelaide have once again joined forces to develop an affordable field ventilator. The unit is capable of manufacturing using components sourced entirely within Australia. The simple-to-use machine will provide access to affordable equipment, that will not require specific ICU training, to communities with challenged health systems in rural and remote regions (such as the Pacific Islands).
The team of doctors, engineers and scientists led by 4Dx’s Prof Andreas Fouras, originally developed a preclinical ventilator for use in research laboratories. The coronavirus outbreak and critical shortage of ventilators for use in ICU’s globally prompted the teams to redesign that ventilator for human use. Engineers at 4Dx designed and built the prototype while doctors and scientists at SAHMRI and University of Adelaide tested the design preclinically.
The successful collaboration is a wonderful example of how the teams from ALHI’s partners can work together to produce much needed solutions for supporting and improving lung health in Australia and globally, particularly for those in remote areas where resources are limited. The ventilator is now ready to be scaled for manufacture locally, thereby contributing to the development of a local lung health ecosystem within Australia, a key focus for the Australian Lung Health Initiative.
The team are now working to identify a suitable manufacturing partner. The units are expected to cost $2000 to produce, rather than the customary $16,000 for an ICU model.