TTP works with Dyson to produce 15,000 ventilators for coronavirus patients
TTP, the Melbourn-based technology and product development company, is working with Dyson to produce 15,000 ventilators.
Known as The CoVent, their version is a bed-mounted, portable ventilator that can run on mains or battery power, meaning it can be used in field hospitals if required.
The country needs thousands more ventilators to cope with the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak.
NHS chief executive Sir Stephens has said the health service has 6,699 adult mechanical ventilators and 750 paediatric ventilators that can be repurposed, while there are an estimated 691 in the private sector and 35 in the Ministry of Defence.
Providing it receives regulatory approval, the government will pay for 10,000 of Dyson and TTP’s ventilators. A further 1,000 will be donated here, while the remaining 4,000 are being produced for other countries, it is understood.
Ventilators are vital in helping the worst-affected Covid-19 patients with respiratory issues. They work like artificial lungs to provide oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.
TTP said it could not comment on the plans at this stage.
But it is believed the companies created a prototype within 10 days, and it is hoped that the first ones will be in hospitals within weeks.
James Dyson, the founder of Dyson - best known for its vacuum cleaners, hair dryers and air purifiers - has divulged that he was contacted by the Prime Minister to produce the ventilators.
“Since I received a call from Boris Johnson, we have refocused resources at Dyson, and worked with TTP, The Technology Partnership, to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent,” he wrote in an email to staff.
“This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume. It is designed to address the specific clinical needs of Covid-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings. The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. The race is now on to get it into production.
“The Dyson Digital motor sits at the heart of the new device and the motor’s design is optimised to have a very high level of intrinsic safety, making it particularly well-suited for industrial, high volume production. The device is designed to achieve a high-quality air supply to ensure its safety and effectiveness, drawing on our air purifier expertise which delivers high-quality filtration in high-volume products.
“Ventilators are a regulated product so Dyson and TTP will be working with the MHRA and the government to ensure that the product and the manufacturing process is approved. We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK government which we will supply on an open-book basis. We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally.
“I am proud of what Dyson engineers and our partners at TTP have achieved. I am eager to see this new device in production and in hospitals as soon as possible. This is clearly a time of grave international crisis, I will therefore donate 5,000 units to the international effort, 1,000 of which will go to the United Kingdom.”
There have been questions about why Dyson and TTP are being asked to provide new ventilators ahead of those with approved designs.
But Matt Hancock, the health secretary, told Sky News last month that the government was working with companies that already produce ventilators too.
“Frankly right across the world, the demand for ventilators is incredibly high so it is not possible to produce too many,” he said. "So anyone that can, should turn their production and their engineering minds to the production of ventilators."
More by this authorPaul Brackley