Over 100 alumni from across the globe logged into the OxVent event hosted by Warden Ken Macdonald QC who voiced the Colleges pride in this extraordinary effort by Wadham Fellows and colleagues to design and build a low cost ventilator.
The core team behind the project, Professors Andrew Farmery (Medicine), Mark Thompson and Alfonso Castrejon-Pita (Engineering) and King's College London’s Dr Federico Formenti share their experience of working to meet a government call to increase the UK’s ventilator manufacturing capacity and describe the longer term future for the OxVent ventilator in this video.
“We are delighted, of course that the UK did not need OxVent in the end,” said Mark. Hospitals were not overwhelmed and did not need emergency ventilators. As a result the OxVent team had to pivot and while it took time to adjust to being stopped as a government project and losing Smith and Nephew as a partner, the project gained hugely in agility and flexibility.
The team is confident that the rapidly manufacturable OxVent has a role in the acute international Covid19 response and in the medium term as a low cost ventilator internationally, particularly in low and middle income countries. To meet those demands, an OxVent research project is continuing at King’s College London and in Oxford and a joint venture not-for-profit social enterprise has been spun out.
The immediate plans focus on deployment in Mexico and Brazil where the pandemic demand for ventilators is still accelerating. The team is addressing regulatory bodies in those countries and also the FDA in the US to show OxVent has achieved the highest emergency medical device standard.