Coronavirus: Sheikh Hamdan reveals UAE-made ventilators to treat Covid-19 patients
Dubai Future Foundation develops ventilator as global supply chains for critical care equipment come under pressure
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has revealed the first ventilator made entirely in the UAE that will be used to treat patients suffering severe cases of Covid-19.
On Friday, he shared a series of videos taken inside Dubai Future Foundation that showed off a prototype of the device, designed and assembled in the UAE.
Ventilators are crucial to keeping critically ill Covid-19 patients alive by providing oxygen to the body through the lungs, which are badly damaged by the acute respiratory disease. They have been used across UAE hospitals in intensive care units.
Globally, ventilators are in short supply with demand only increasing as cases rise.
“We are proud of the efforts of talented local specialists who designed and developed an innovative medical ventilator indigenously,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
He said he hoped the locally-made device would inspire further innovations in the UAE and contribute to the country's aim of working in specialised technology sectors and boosting healthcare capabilities.
He said the innovation was an indication of the readiness of Emiratis to tackle challenges in a constantly changing world.
“Accomplishments like this further contribute to realising Sheikh Mohammed’s vision for the future and his commitment to fostering local talent and innovative home-grown technology, as well as the country’s proactive efforts to raise its advanced healthcare competencies”.
Field trials will begin in a few days and the devices have been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Prevention and Dubai Health Authority for further testing.
Tests have already been conducted on the ventilators to ensure it can automatically adapt depending on changes to indicators including blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. The ventilator was also tested to ensure it can provide oxygen to patients for prolonged periods of time.
Once deployed, the ventilators will increase the availability of critical care equipment.
Khalifa Al Qama, director of laboratories at the Dubai Future Foundation and Saqr Bin Ghaleb, director of The Office of Artificial Intelligence, briefed Sheikh Hamdan about the details of the design, saying the device was engineered to meet the highest international medical standards.
"Once coronavirus began to spread across the world, there began to be a lot of pressure on factories that make these devices," Mr Al Qama said in Sheikh Hamdan's video.
"In response, our teams began looking into developing a ventilator and noticed they must be able to supply oxygen consistently for hours on end and that doctors would need them to work for days and weeks.
"Our prototype offers a solution to this issue."
Mr Al Qama said the foundation would be given feedback from doctors and make adjustments to the device before the final product is made available for widespread use.
The ventilators have been devised from material and components that can be easily procured, reported state news agency Wam.
The prototype was designed by a team of local and international experts from the Foundation in collaboration with public and private institutions and research centres.
Sheikh Hamdan directed the team working on the project to co-ordinate with local laboratories, specialists, national and international universities.
"We will be able to achieve more through innovation,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
“I am confident Dubai will become a leader among the cities of the future.”
Updated: May 23, 2020 08:33 PM