How it's born
Jean Ruwet and Grégoire Le Brun met during the evening classes that they had been attending at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Brussels. Jean has a medical doctor degree and Grégoire is pursuing a thesis in phyisical engineering.
When the first wave of Covid-19 strikes Europe, physicians realized that a ventilator shortage is a possility, and it will happen, by all the odds, in several countries less prepared and poorly equiped amid this sanitary crisis.
In that context, Grégoire and Jean find themselves enrolled in a working group from the Catholic University of Louvain willing to develop a Belgian low-cost medical ventilator.
A quick, easy and reliable solution
After realizing that a complete ventilator will requiere too much time (considering the emergency of the situation) and that dozens of similars projects had been conducted through Europe without any real coordination, Grégoire and Jean decided to switch to their own, quicker and easier project.
They approached the problem of ventilator shortage capacity by doubling the capacity of available ventilators through the use of a splitter. They designed a Y-shaped piece and chose to build it in surgical stainless steel to allow several utilization via sterilization between two pairs of patients.
Designing to fit on every existing ventilator, the first prototype was machined within five days after the launch of the project in the mechanic department of the two brothers Ruwet company.
and worldwide shipping
We offered the opportunity for anyone willing to reproduce, modifie or improve our splitter to download our design for free.
We also machined and shipped more than a thousand units of this splitter'version for governments, hospitals or researchers unable to produce the device themselves, especially in Africa and Central America.
In the meantime, the lockdown decreted in Belgium had allowed the Belgian intensive care units to absorb the first wave without necessiating an increase of their ventilator capacity.
an innovative differential multiventilation set-up
The multiventilation technology allowed by our splitter had and has obvious limitations. Patients sharing the ventilator must have similar respiratory needs and share the same global physiopathological characteristics. That's the reason why we worked on the development of a second prototype allowing to regulate the most important parameters of ventilation for each individual patient connected to the same machine.
We researched, studied and developed severals modules allowing to regulate or measure the tidal volume, oxygen percentage, capnography or the positive endexpiratory pressure for each of the two patients.
We worked in close collaboration with Belgian hospitals, biotech companies and an international working group on differential multiventilation created to fight this ventilator shortage crisis.