Taiwan unveils locally made ventilator prototype

Taipei,  The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) unveiled a prototype Friday of what could become Taiwan’s first medical grade ventilator amid interest in the device due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

The prototype, which the ITRI said was made within a span of 17 days, was introduced during an online press briefing.

“At the end of March, U.S. ventilator manufacturer Medtronic shared the basic design specifications of its PB 560 portable ventilator, free of charge,” ITRI President Edwin Liu (劉文雄) said.

The ITRI locally sourced more than 500 components, involving mechanical parts, electronic controls, firmware, software, and data system integration, Liu said.

The institute, established by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in 1973, was recently tapped to develop local capabilities to produce ventilators amid the surge in global demand, as COVID-19 patients continue to increase.

“In the face of the worldwide ventilator shortage, Taiwan has now developed its first ventilator prototype, highlighting its ability to produce high-end medical equipment on its own,” said Lo Ta-sheng (羅達生), director-general of the MOEA’s Department of Industrial Technology.

Taiwan has relied up to now on imports to satisfy its ventilator needs, but Lo said the goal for the project is to participate in the global ventilator supply chain.

In a separate statement, the ITRI said 10 more prototype ventilators are expected to be produced by the end of October for medical conformity certification.

After that, the ITRI will try to recruit more manufacturers to scale up production, with a goal of producing 100 ventilators by the end of June 2021, the statement said.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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