Ballarat’s Gekko Medical is set to start production of the ‘GeVentor’ ventilators that could save the lives of COVID-19 patients around the world.
Gekko Medical, a new Medical start-up under the umbrella of the Gekko Group, is the first Australian company to receive permission to fast-track production of an Australian-designed ventilator.
The State Government today announced an order for 170 of the units, which will be among the first to go into production. The GeVentors are expected to be available within five weeks and will be used in health services across the state.
The GeVentor is an affordable alternative to the latest model ventilators, designed to be simple, robust and reliable. It features low gas and power consumption and can be operated using batteries and an oxygen bottle, making it ideal for more remote and regional health centres.
A prototype for the GeVentor was developed in April by Gekko’s innovation team lead by technical director Sandy Gray, in consultation with Ballarat anaesthetist Doug Paxton. The initiative was in response to fears of shortages of ventilators in Australian hospitals. The development of the prototype was assisted by a Victorian government grant and support from the Ballarat community.
With Australia now in a strong position in the fight against COVID-19 due to low infection rates and the availability of ventilators, the GeVentor will be available to global hotspots, including Indonesia, India, and Latin America.
The unit has attracted interest from humanitarian organisations that aim to supply ventilators to developing countries, with the affordability and rugged construction of the GeVentor of particular benefit in these settings.
The first unit is expected to roll off the production line within 4-5 weeks.
Gekko Medical is a start-up launched by the award-winning mining innovation company, Gekko Systems in response to shortages of ventilators in Australian hospitals at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to use its manufacturing expertise to continue to produce medical equipment and create a medical technology hub in Ballarat.
Quote attributed to GeVentor developer and Gekko technical director Sandy Gray:
“We are pleased to have developed a ventilator that can help save the lives of COVID-19 patients around the world, particularly in developing countries that don’t have the medical resources they need to cope with the pandemic.”
“It is a big success story for Ballarat and regional Victoria, resulting from a collaboration between local medical and manufacturing experts, with the support of the community. We understand the GeVentor
is the first Australian-designed ventilator to be eligible for supply in Australia specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Gekko is a company based in Ballarat, Australia, with an international reputation for innovation. It has welcomed the challenge of creating a solution to the increased requirement for invasive ventilators worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This successful, agile innovator and manufacturer has adapted quickly to develop the fit-for-purpose GeVentor GEV019 ventilator, working closely with local, but globally experienced, clinicians and researchers and in collaboration with other Victorian and Australian organisations and medical experts.
Background Sandy Gray
Sandy Gray, co-founder and Technical Director of Gekko Systems, is a globally recognized inventor and innovator. He is a recipient of the prestigious Clunies Ross Award , Australia’s pre-eminent award for scientists, technologists and innovators and the UK’s I0M3 Futers Gold Medal. Sandy has also received the AusIMM Mineral Operating Technique Award, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Technology, Communications, E-commerce & Life Sciences – Southern Region), the Victorian Premier’s Design Award and is an inductee of the International Mining Hall of Fame.