The Winnipeg Ventilator

Proven, cost-effective, and scalable solution designed for ICU use and modernized to meet the needs of COVID-19. 

Chosen for Canada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis

The Winnipeg Ventilator is:

Reliable and proven

  • Early models used globally since the 1990s
  • Provides full ICU functionality
  • Does not require hospital air pressure delivery 
  • Design used broadly in ventilators deployed during the SARS epidemic

Simple and scalable

  • Intuitive, easy to use interface
  • Portable design
  • Supports low-cost manufacturing
  • Uses “Piston” based technology with widely available parts, whereas most ventilators use “Blower” based technology, competing for parts within the same limited supply chain

Fast and cost-effective to produce

  • Simple assemblies
  • Faster production cycle times and lower costs
  • Localized production supports access to care

Built to address the ventilatory needs of COVID-19 patients

The varied pathophysiology of COVID-19 requires many approaches to ventilatory support in various patients, as well as in the same patient at different times. Depending on the patient and stage of the disease, lungs can be very stiff or not stiff at all and oxygen requirements will vary. A ventilator must be versatile and able to deliver a range of ventilator modes and oxygen concentrations.

While all standard commercial ICU ventilators meet these requirements, they are very expensive and difficult to manufacture at the scale and speed required for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Winnipeg Ventilator meets these requirements AND is designed for fast, cost-effective, local production.

Chosen by the Canadian Government

The Winnipeg Ventilator has been chosen by NGen Canada as part of the Canadian Government response to the COVID-19 crisis.  The Winnipeg Ventilator was selected for design and production by a national consortium of expert engineers and manufacturers led by Starfish Medical, Canada’s largest medical device engineering firm.  NGen funding is enabling broadly distributed manufacturing of ventilators based on the original “Winnipeg Ventilator” model. 

The Original Winnipeg Ventilator

The original design, developed by Dr. Magdy Younes at the University of Manitoba, was licensed to a major manufacturer and deployed in tens of thousands of machines in Intensive Care Units globally during the 1990s and 2000s. These units were used extensively during the SARS epidemic in 2003.

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