On 13 March, a group of leading medical device development companies from Cambridge was asked by the UK Government to assist in the rapid development and manufacture of ventilators to meet increased hospital requirements, caused by COVID-19.
Cambridge Consultants, PA Consulting, Sagentia, Team Consulting and TTP plc took up the challenge and MetLase provided industrial support. These companies represent the renowned Cambridge Cluster, Europe’s largest technology hub, with more than 1,500 companies employing tens of thousands.
The UK’s engineering community has responded to the government’s call for help. These five specialist medical device development organisations are applying a range of disciplines, including electronics, software development, human factors, design, thermodynamics and regulatory knowledge.
This initiative unites competing businesses during an unprecedented public health emergency. With hundreds of experts working night and day, and in close cooperation, the Cambridge community has come together to address this challenge.
The companies are all working to a specification published by the government, established in response to the clinical interventions understood to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19. While working on separate, parallel designs, the group is collaborating closely to support each other.
High volume supply and extremely rapid manufacture are the key objectives, while remaining subject to testing and approval through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - MHRA. This is a huge technical challenge. In broad terms the companies are taking a development process that would normally take 5-6 years and attempting to deliver within 5-6 weeks, and against the background of distributed teams observing government separation guidelines.
PA Consulting are extremely proud to bring theit innovation and engineering expertise to bear on this hugely important work. Read more on what they've been up to here.