Dyson latest engineering company to work on developing ventilators for NHS

Nurse preparing oxygen mask for patient in critical state

Dyson is joining the growing number of British design engineering companies to develop a ventilator fo the NHS.

In a statement Dyson said it had been working with Cambridge-based medical company The Technology Partnership to develop a “meaningful and timely response”.

“This is a highly complex project being undertaken in an extremely challenging timeframe,” the statement said.

“We are conducting a fully regulated medical device development, including testing in the laboratory and in humans, and we are scaling up for volume.”

Dyson is the latest to reveal its plans. Yesterday we reported that Worcester-based Gtech is also working on a prototype, while engineers, anaesthetists and surgeons from the University of Oxford and King’s College London are building and testing prototypes that can be manufactured using techniques and tools available in well-equipped university and small and medium enterprise (SME) workshops. The partnership hoped to launch OxVent as soon as possible. Government coordination and ongoing rapid competitive selection of the best design concepts will enable universities, SMEs and large industry to make and assemble these ventilators close to their local NHS services. This may allow local scaling according to demand, and reduce stress on NHS distribution.

Professor Thompson, Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, which is working on OxVent, said: “This extraordinary situation demands an extraordinary response and we are pulling all the talents together in an exceptional team combining decades of experience translating research into the clinic, brilliant innovators, and highly skilled technicians.”

Within a matter of weeks he hopes a prototype could be developed which would satisfy MHRA (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) requirements, and the scientists believe a mature manufacturing network at scale could be achievable within 2-3 months.

Another Oxfordshire company, Penlon, which develops and manufactures anaesthesia and other medical products and sells worldwide, is also in discussions with the MHRA and other NHS authorities.

Penlon says it is able to offer a solution for ventilation requirements and is prepared to ramp up manufacturing capacity to meet this requirement. It added in a statement: “We wish to thank all the companies that have contacted us, offering their help, support and resources.”