UK cancelling ventilator projects signifies decreasing demand due to COVID-19

Following the news (Wednesday 29 April) about the outcomes of the UK’s initiative on making ventilators;

Tina Deng, Senior Medical Devices at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on

“The news that at least five of the ventilator projects, including Dyson, have been cancelled in the UK comes as no surprise as GlobalData expects a decrease of estimated ventilators in demand globally, starting with the EU. With the number of patients needing intensive care declining in some countries, fewer ventilators will be needed.

“A clearer image of ventilator demand has emerged. While the UK Government adjusted the needs from 30,000 to 18,000 ventilators, New York plans to send extra units to Maryland and Michigan. The total contracts in the US will provide more than 187,000 ventilators by the end of 2020 – the majority of which are likely to be shipped to Mexico and other countries.

“The manufacture of ventilators during COVID-19 relies on partnerships between medical companies and engineering companies. To date, the most successful partnerships are between existing ventilator manufacturers and large engineering companies, through expansion of existing or lightly modified versions of existing approved ventilators. None of the new designs from non-medical manufacturers has been cleared so far.

“The majority of the prototypes that are being built for the pandemic are portable transport ventilators. The announced ventilator modes include Smith Medical’s ParaPac, Ford/GE Healthcare’s Airon and Medtronic’s Puritan Bennett 560. These devices received regulatory approval prior to the outbreak. They offer critical care patient support for all age groups. ParaPac and Airon are both pneumatically powered and no do not require batteries or electrical power, making them suitable for transport or make-shift spaces.”

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