Title
A New Small Animal Ventilator
Microcontroller is key to versatile veterinary ventilator instrument
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    331 Medical Instruments
Abstract
Vetronics Services, United Kingdom, produces equipment for several veterinary niche markets (Prodcom sector 3310), for example - a Digital Heart Rate Monitor, and a range of X-Ray Viewers. It developed a prototype ventilator for small animals, in 12 months, with total effort of 192 person days, at a cost of 32.7Keur. The ventilator is used by general veterinary practitioners to deliver gas and anaesthetic agents during operations on animals ranging in size from a mouse to a large dog. The company was set up eight years ago, and has one employee. He is is a practising veterinary surgeon, with analogue electronics, digital electronics and high-level software programming experience.

The existing product employs analogue electronics and solenoid valves to direct a pressurised gas supply to the patient's lungs, and provides control over the maximum inspiratory pressure and the expiratory time only. It is restricted to animals up to 10kg body weight, and hence has a limited market. The new product employs a piston assembly to deliver the gas (to a resolution of 1mL), controlled by a microcontroller, and provides monitoring, display and accurate control of a wide range of parameters. For example, flow rates can be set to a resolution of 0.1L/min, and times to wthin 0.1 seconds. It does not require a pressurised gas supply, and is suitable for animals from 50g to 50kg body weight. The new product justifies a much higher selling price (3.8Keur as against 0.6Keur) and will lead to a rapid increase in company turnover and profit. The development costs should be recovered within two years, and the Return on Investment is projected as 500%. The time to market is expected to be one year, and the projected product lifetime is at least five years. Since this AE, the company has developed two further microcontroller-based products.

The demonstrator will be of particular interest to companies designing medical instruments, but will also be of interest to companies involved in general instruments or process control.

The company turnover is confidential.
Company
Vetronic Services
35, Sutton Close
Watcombe
Torquay
Devon
England TQ2 8LL

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided Vetronic Services with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
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