It is Monday March 23, 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has gripped the Netherlands. 
This crisis soon threatens a shortage in the IC departments of the hospitals, which are not prepared for the expected peak. This shortage also concerns respiratory equipment, because Corona patients need intensive ventilation 24 hours a day, 3 to 4 weeks.

Responding to the expected need for additional respiratory equipment, R2R in collaboration with initiator Eugène Herben, M.Sc., expert in the field of respiratory technology, and five engineers investigated the possibilities of offering a helping hand to the increasing pressure on healthcare.

The product

We develop a professional ventilator, focused on ventilation of Coronavirus patients (COVID-19), which is quick and easy to build and provides high-quality ventilation.

Features of the design:

  • Good ventilation performance
  • Very robust design
  • No compressed air required
  • Good hygiene concept
  • Small and handy design
  • Independent supply chain, through well-considered choices of components

The shortage of regular respiratory equipment is caused by the medical supply chain, with production entirely dependent on medical certification requirements. All used parts must comply with this. In this crisis situation, switching to alternative certification is necessary and therefore use equipment that is sufficiently available.

Tackling external factors

1. Growing interest from the Dutch government in Sunrise-19

The respiration experts within the team have a seat in the Corona control group. This steering group is in contact with the National Consortium for Hospital Aids and is pitching the plan for Sunrise-19. The LHC is enthusiastic about our ventilation knowledge and considers the solutions offered.

“Because time is crucial, we are fully committed to developing a mobile, robust device. The blower ventilation principle is intrinsically safe and perfectly meets the demand. “

2. Deploy network to switch quickly 

After the informal investment has made a starting budget available at the end of the week, we have to wait for a go from LCH to make the purchase for the first 100 pieces and the proposal will be announced to Minister Hugo de Jong.

The team grows to 15 people in the fields of technology, purchasing guidance, communication and organization. The network is also growing rapidly – everyone works pro bono and is enthusiastic about making this solution possible.

The result

After 4 weeks of hard rocking, the prototype works and an artificial lung can be ventilated. The end result has become a compact, robust case that is controlled with a touchscreen. With hygiene as a priority, the kit comes with standard breathing tubes that are replaced with every patient.

The prototype is available as a demonstration model to approach interested parties in the medical market.

Demo model prototype with artificial lung.

There is room for new challenges!

Are you looking for R&D engineering capacity in the field of mechanical engineering, mechatronics or embedded software?

The intelligent lockdown that started March 12 is paying off and has flattened the Covid-19 contamination curve. The overloaded ICUs have some breathing space again and no additional respiratory equipment is required. The government has ordered 500 spare devices from Demcon and our alternative will be placed on the spare bank next to TU Delft.