RWTH Develops Novel Ventilator

July 16th, 2020 | by

The PV1000, a simple and robust solution for use in ICUs, is currently being developed at RWTH. Launched by several RWTH departments and institutes, the project has reached an important milestone: the device’s graphical user interface will now be tested by experts in hospitals throughout Germany.

Shocked by the lack of ventilation beds in many countries at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists at RWTH Aachen University have been developing an emergency ventilator since April. The “People’s Ventilator PV1000” is designed to fill the gap in situations where conventional ventilators are in short supply. It is a simple and robust device that is suitable for use in intensive care units for several weeks.

Initiated by the Chair of Medical Information Technology (MedIT), the Institute of Automotive Engineering, and the Chair of Embedded Software, the project now involves 30 volunteer researchers headed by Professor Steffen Leonhardt. The project receives support from several RWTH institutions as well as companies in the region.

Ventilators are complex technical systems that offer different ventilation modes and must be capable of reacting correctly to many different situations. Furthermore, it is essential that the device is easy to operate. The PV1000’s intuitive operating concept, developed by RWTH’s Chair of Embedded Software, has now been implemented. The Chair of Medical Engineering (medi-TEC), another project partner, has contributed its expertise in the development of safe, usable medical devices.

In order to make sure that the newly developed device can be safely used in intensive care units, the graphical user interface is currently being made available for testing to a representative cross-section of 18 medical experts throughout Germany, including numerous heads of intensive care units. The feedback from the experts is being quickly integrated into the software so that the first prototype can be built.

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