TELTONIKA'S ARTIFICIAL LUNG VENTILATION DEVICE TESTED IN VILNIUS AND KAUNAS CLINICS
Teltonika Telemedic, a company of the Lithuanian high-tech group Teltonika, has completed another important milestone in the development of an artificial lung ventilation device. The latest version of the prototype has already been tested by doctors at the Vilnius and Kaunas clinics, and following the successful completion of the interim tests, a patent application for the lung ventilator telemedicine system has been filed.
Teltonika started this project in 2020 when the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, and hospitals began to face a massive shortage of lung ventilators. The company's experts developed the first lung ventilator prototype in just one month and achieved the project's primary goal of producing 100 of these devices for countries where the need was greatest. However, in order to start mass production of these devices, Teltonika Telemedic had to obtain certification to ensure that the product met all the requirements for medical devices.
Tomas Zamaras, product manager at Teltonika Telemedic, emphasises that the artificial lung ventilation device is a very special product - from the design of the complex mechanical parts and electronic components to the mastery of the laws of physics and the dynamics of air. Given the complexity of the project, a large team of around 30 people is involved.
"Our ultimate goal is to create a device that saves lives, so the machine has to meet all the required standards. With the highest aims in mind, we have done a truly incredible job over the past year, working countless hours on the first prototype in order to meet the goals set for the second prototype. Now we can proudly say that we have a prototype artificial lung ventilation device with innovative telemedicine and patient positioning systems," says Martynas Osauskas, director of Teltonika Telemedic.
The titanic efforts of Teltonika's engineers were highlighted in June when the prototype was tested at the Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno klinikos (LSMUL) and the Vilnius University hospital Santaros klinikos (VUL). Doctors working at these medical institutions carried out a usability study.
"The doctors appreciated the user-friendliness of the device developed by Teltonika. Although the device has not yet been clinically evaluated, the doctors made valuable suggestions on how the device could be improved. We are pleased to have received excellent feedback from the medical community that we are developing exactly what the healthcare institutions need. However, we still have a lot of work to do before we can start production of the lung ventilator, which will be completed by patient trials of a fully operational system. According to the preliminary estimates of our experts, we expect to have a production-ready device by 2024, as product certification alone takes up to 12 months," says Tomas Zamaras.
According to the Technical Readiness Level (TRL) scale for new products, Teltonika's prototype artificial lung ventilation device has already reached level six out of nine. This means that the device has been developed with all the necessary electronic and pneumatic components, is capable of operating in two modes out of a planned thirteen, and is controlled by a high-resolution touch screen. The successful completion of this phase was confirmed by an inspection carried out in July by specialists from the Innovation Agency (formerly Lithuanian Business Support Agency, LBSA), which is partly financing the project.
It is estimated that more than €1.5 million has already been invested in the project of development and validation of the artificial lung ventilation device, but this amount will increase with the remaining work. Part of the investment will be covered by a €0.99 million grant from the European Regional Development Fund. Among other benefits, the funding of the project has enabled Teltonika Telemedic to involve foreign scientists and medics, whose advice has helped to manage complex processes.