TTP CEO, Sam Hyde, was interviewed on BBC Radio 5's Wake up to money programme and discussed the lessons TTP learned from the NHS Ventilator Challenge and their positive impact on the future Healthcare and Medical Device development projects.
"I think at the minute, I think the crisis still seems to be under control. I think you have to think back to where we were in March where we had very much a national crisis, uncontrolled growth in cases. We were asked to join the ventilator challenge back then when the cases in hospital were the real risk of hospitals being overrun.", Sam said.
"The challenge actually very much needed agile multidisciplinary high-paced teams. Teams prepared to do things quite differently and TTP, The Technology Partnership. We're a UK firm, about 300 scientists and engineers with quite a track record in healthcare and medical devices. Now we're used to working pretty fast we typically work on, you know 50 plus products any one time but even for us that 30 day target that you'd mentioned was a challenge for us. But what we and the other members of the ventilator challenge team achieved used to create in just a few weeks, some of them normally would take years.", he mentioned when he was asked how TTP decided that they were ready to be part of the challenge.
With regards to the way the project was organised, TTP's CEO said: "I'll give you a sense of the pace. About 12 hours after the call came in over a hundred or so of our clinicians physicists and engineers volunteered and we were working 24 hours seven days a week with only a few days actually we had the first proof of principle ventilator that could be scaled up for high volume manufacturing and after about 30 days we had the first safe effective ventilators being produced in a production line having undergone quite rigorous testing. I think it was a great example of what the UK industry can do coming together, kind of pooling that expertise, tackling the challenges and this pandemic has produced."
"I think one of the interesting things about this viruses is that we're learning new things every day. Actually, during the ventilator challenge, one of the difficult things would was there was new information coming in, understanding how best to treat the virus how to protect itself against the virus. And so, what we actually really needed was to be very agile to understand the latest data to apply ourselves appropriately to that. So I think it was it was a great showcase of how UK industry can come together, pool different expertise but also act in a very agile way."
"So as you asked how we're doing what the mood is I think these are unprecedented and challenging times for everyone. People are concerned for health looking after young children and trying to keep businesses operating and we as a business, like many had to switch over to partial, remote working, you know, we have labs and so we needed to keep the labs open to be able to respond to the crisis. What I would say is that, in despite the challenges the people who kind of work for us and for the other UK industry are inspired by working on projects that have this kind of impact we have products that do save lives.", he answered when he was asked about the extent the country is prepared in case of another crisis.
On the question about the biggest struggle of the Ventilator Challenge: "Most critical on the front of everyone's mind was how we create a safe and effective ventilator that can save lives and so that was the priority. We did learn quite a few things about how to be very agile how we can run different parts of the project in parallel to crunch the tasks, to bring that timeline right down. As I mentioned, be able to do this in only 30 days on what would normally take most companies a few years to do. Well, It was particularly big challenge but by bringing it all together by running those teams in parallel, and we've managed to both develop according to the regulatory requirements, which were pretty tough for products like this, and also achieve the result of a ventilator that actually was working, running off production lines after only 30 days".
Read our case study to find out more about the ventilator challenge and how TTP designed and developed a ventilator for the UK Government in record time during the novel coronavirus pandemic.