Celebrating our community during COVID-19
“JAMVENT has successfully overcome both the technical challenges that have hindered many other emergency designs, and the supply chain bottlenecks that limit manufacturing capacity of established ventilators.”
I am a Bioengineer with a Mechanical Engineering background. I joined Imperial in 2012 and focus on blood flow and eye pressure, with applications in glaucoma and diabetes research. I also do consultancy work building custom pressure/flow systems.
One week before the lockdown, Dr Jakob Mathiszig-Lee, an anaesthesiologist working with COVID-19 patients at the Royal Brompton Hospital, emailed us looking for anyone interested in building a ventilator to help with potential shortfall. I offered to help, along with Professor James Moore, an expert in medical device design, and Dr Michael Madekurozwa, who I have been working with for five years.
We quickly established design principles, focussing on high performance ventilation without interrupting supply chains for ventilator manufacturers or hospitals. The core design came together in a few days, and we have been working almost every waking hour to optimise the design, test the performance and prepare documentation to accelerate the manufacturing process. JAMVENT has successfully overcome both the technical challenges that have hindered many other emergency designs, and the supply chain bottlenecks that limit manufacturing capacity of established ventilators.
We have had invaluable support from a network of volunteers within Imperial, the Department of Bioengineering and Imperial’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
The project has featured on the Imperial news site and in international press articles (VoA, Forbes, BBC), but now we really need investment to help us accelerate regulatory processes and manufacturing. We are working with UK manufacturers to address this nationally, and have made the design freely available so that manufacturers and governments around the world can take it up and build their own realisation of JAMVENT.
Thankfully much of the developed world has not needed excess capacity of ventilators and is looking to release lockdown. However, we must not forget the developing world, where many countries have less than 1 ventilator per 100,000 people. We hope JAMVENT can help.