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An International Review for the High Energy Ventilator

On 23 April, an international expert committee convened to review the HEV ventilator and advise the team developing it on the necessary next steps to deploy the ventilator in the global fight against COVID-19.

28 Apr 2020

CERN against COVID: HEV project
Progress on CERN (LHCb) ventilators development project HEV within the ERN against COVID taskforce actions (Image: CERN)

Over 50 people came together on Zoom on 23 April to hear from the team developing the High Energy Ventilator, HEV, at CERN. Among them was a panel of experts in the fields of cardio-respiratory care, electrical engineering in medicine, physics and knowledge transfer.

The scope of the review was to examine all aspects of the HEV with a view to having the device certified and deployed in a medical environment in both high and low income countries that have a need for a high-quality, simple and affordable ventilator for hospital use. The review began with a presentation of the overall concept and design principles, highlighting adherence to international standards and guidelines issued by the UK Government (the HEV team includes the University of Liverpool group on LHCb), the US Food and Drugs Administration, the World Health Organization and the International Organization for Standardization. Subsequent presentations went into every detail from the mechanical, electrical and software designs to the results of tests on the prototypes and a roadmap to deployment.

After four hours of presentations and in-depth discussions, the reviewers judged the design to be sound, and were impressed by the technical level achieved and in such a short time. The review committee will now consider their findings, and publish a detailed report covering questions still to be addressed and recommendations for the project’s next steps.