Local electronics company to make ventilators in Laguna

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the announcement on the last day of the existing quarantine period for most areas in the country except for Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal which are under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until August 18.

    As the country continues to battle the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a local company is making headway in its bid to produce a lower cost breathing device for COVID patients.

    Ayala Corp. said its unit Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI) has obtained approval from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) for the first ventilation system to be produced in the Philippines — the UCL Ventura Flow Generator, a lower-cost, non-invasive ventilation system specifically designed to aid COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulties.

    “Based on an existing off-patent continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system, the design has been modified to optimize oxygen consumption. It is designed to reduce the spread of aerosols, helping keep healthcare workers safe from infection,” Ayala said in a statement.

    “The UCL Ventura Flow Generator is an alternative and preventative system used to avoid the need for an intubated ventilator treatment,” it added.

    The device is a collaboration between the University College London Hospital and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, and was approved by UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

    Earlier this year, IMI collaborated with its UK-based subsidiary, Surface Technology International Ltd. (STI, Ltd.), to bring the ventilation technology to the Philippines. IMI engineers then consulted the Filipino medical community, including AC Health’s experts, for the local application of the UCL Ventura Flow Generator.

    “Licensed by the University College of London to IMI for the Philippines, and now FDA-certified, IMI is set to produce the UCL Ventura Flow Generator in its Laguna facility, and will make these units available at a competitive price,” Ayala said.