High-quality, Low-cost Medical Ventilator from CERN

The transfer of knowledge and technology from Big Science centers can have a real impact on various fields of business, industry and science. Among the fields in which the achievements of centers such as CERN are used, there is also medicine. This is evidenced by the HEV (High Energy Ventilator), a high-quality, versatile, cheap-to-produce respirator, the design and prototype of which was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic at CERN.

The High Energy Ventilator (HEV) project was born during the COVID-19 pandemic to design and prototype a versatile, high-quality, low-cost medical ventilator. It intends to provide long term alveolar ventilation support to patients, in or out of intensive care, for intubated and non-invasive cases. Clinical advice has guided the main choices during the design process, providing further insights to the COVID-19 official emergency guidelines from the MHRA, WHO and AAMI.

In 2020, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Global Challenges Research Fund, awarded funding to redesign the HEV for use in low- and middle-income countries. The High Performance Low Cost Ventilator (HPLV), based on the HEV prototype, relies less on compressed gases and mains electricity supply—making it more suitable for a variety of challenging settings in regions where optimal conditions might not be available.

HEV technology can be used by all stakeholders around the world. Licenses for its use can be obtained by any institution or company that submits the appropriate documentation.

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  • Functionality based on MHRA, WHO and AAMI guidelines for COVID-19 emergency ventilators.
  • Low-cost design based on commercially available components, thanks to the two-step pneumatic design.
  • Design inherently flexible and modular, for adaption to different requirements and environments.
  • High quality breath control and breath support, with patient comfort set as a priority.
  • Air/Oxygen mixing provided internally, no need for an external unit.
  • Intuitive and ergonomic touch-screen control.
  • Equipped with standard bulkhead thread connector, for easy adaption to match hospital connectors around the world.
  • Can be powered by a standard AC connection, or a 24V DC source from a UPS backup.
  • Internal battery provides up to 45 minutes autonomy, can be augmented with a second external battery


Source: CERN