As part of a corporate-university cooperation scheme, Hungarian experts have developed a portable ventilator that is effective in the treatment of respiratory failure caused by the novel coronavirus. By filtering the outflowing air, the local invention – that can be equally operated utilising a battery and cylinder combination – provides protection for health care workers treating patients.

The ventilator suitable for the treatment of patients in a critical condition – which can be easily deployed in epidemic hospitals – was created by Femtonics Kft. in cooperation with the medical management team of Semmelweis University.

Minister for Innovation and Technology László Palkovics stressed that in the present state of danger actors of the domestic research-development and innovation sector have proved with exemplary cooperation skills that they are able to respond even to unexpected challenges swiftly and effectively. The Ministry has received some fifty, scientifically well-founded project proposals; the development of 20 of these is already under way. The Hungarian ventilator which is currently being patented could contribute to Hungary becoming ever more self-sufficient in its health care containment effort. The Minister added that the Ministry is determined to keep together the professional and scientific community and network – which are continuously expanding during the present virus crisis – also in the longer term in the interest of the restarting of the Hungarian economy.

By combining the engineering, electronic, medical and clinical knowledge at their disposal, Femtonics Kft. and Semmelweis University managed to realise the first operational prototype by the end of March. Upon designing the machine, they paid attention to ensuring that physicians with less experience in assisted ventilation should also be able to use it. The first functional mock-up model was built in 10 days. Thanks to a series of tests conducted with the aid of the active artificial lung that can be found at Semmelweis University, the second development is a much more sophisticated machine, Dr Balázs Rózsa, founder-owner of the company stressed.

The new device has a very good flow rate and swift, responsive controls, Dr András Lorx, Assistant Professor of Semmelweis University’s Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy Clinic said based on the test results. He added that the integrated circle breathing system and gas supply are not wasteful. Therefore, a great advantage of the recently developed machine is that it does not overload hospital gas supply networks.

The developers only used materials which conform to regulations relating to medical equipment and of which, at the same time, there is no shortage. Thanks to the careful selection of the some 400 to 500 components, the necessary parts can be easily procured which significantly simplifies the production process itself, Mr Rózsa highlighted.

The serial production of the Hungarian invention can start after the patent protection procedure. One of the largest Hungarian medical equipment manufacturers, 77 Elektronika Kft. is willing to help with production making available its own capacity.

(Ministry for Innovation and Technology / MTI)