Locally-produced ventilators to soon undergo testing

Published December 7, 2020, 2:21 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Local ventilators being developed by three institutions aimed to address the lack of these medical devices will soon undergo testing.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In his weekly report, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena shared updates on the development of local ventilators being implemented by the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), Don Bosco Technical College, and startup company Neuronmek.

He said the TIP ventilator will undergo third-party testing by MedEquip. Changes in flow sensor configuration and claw monitoring positioning will be incorporated in the unit to be tested by MedEquip.

Meanwhile, design revisions recommended by DOST-Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC) are being made on the ventilator developed by the Don Bosco Technical College. EPDC testing will  be done in January on the Neuronmek ventilator after the changes have been implemented.

In April, the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) issued a call for Filipino researchers to submit their ideas or prototypes for ventilators/respirators to augment the health care system grappling with COVID-19 patients needing these medical devices.

In August, the DOST allocated P60 million to support research initiatives that will enable the Philippines to grapple with the effects of COVID-19. This was also spearheaded by the DOST-PCIEERD through the project “Science and Technology for a Resilient Community against the Pandemic” or STRAP Block Grant which is the department’s response to help Filipinos combat the pandemic and adapt to the new normal.

Part of the projects that will be funded in this program are the testing and calibration of locally developed medical devices.

DOST-PCIEERD supported the design and development of ventilator prototypes to be simulated and tested in cooperation with the EPDC and Food and Drug Administration-accredited testing body. This program will provide testing facilities and additional support needed by local developers to have their prototypes tested, accredited, and clinically tested for multiple production for deployment to its partner hospitals and institutions. This is not limited to ventilators but can be extended to other medical devices such as respirators, thermal scanners, and others.