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Dec 13, 2022

Moving air to protect the weakest patients, and those who care for them

The pandemic taught us that we need to manage the air to stay healthy. This is extremely critical in Isolation Units at hospitals where patients with the most contagious infectious deceases – or those with the weakest immune systems – are treated. To better protect both them and the staff, we used CFD simulation from Dassault Simulia to develop a novel concept based on our patented airflow technology.  

The innovative TcAF ventilation system was designed primarily to prevent surgical site infections (SSI) during infection sensitive surgeries. The system is based on a patented combination of the classic mixed ventilation, which dilutes the number of bacteria-carrying particles in the periphery of the room, and a unidirectional airflow, which sweeps away particles from the middle of the room. The principle is called temperature-controlled airflow (TcAF) ventilation. Based on TcAF, our Opragon systems generate a superior level of purity throughout the entire operating room, supplying slightly cooled air in a zone around the operating table, while evenly spaced external air showers regulate the temperature of the room. This is done with very high energy efficiency compared to other solutions.  

” Now we’re leveraging our proven airflow technology based on the learnings from the COVID pandemic. We realized that we are not only protecting the patients from bacteria and infections but also protecting staff from airborne infections.”

Peter Höjerback, CEO Avidicare

Avidicare used SIMULIA’s PowerFLOW CFD solution to begin testing a novel idea for hospital isolation rooms where the objective is to keep both the patient and the staff free from infection or illness. The PowerFLOW simulation team modeled a virtual twin of a hospital room as well as droplet nuclei, small airborne particles that are exhaled by a patient during a breath or a cough. PowerFLOW enabled Avidicare to virtually see where the droplets propagate in the room, on which surfaces they deposit, how they are extracted from the room, and other critical behaviors. 

“The PowerFLOW product has definitely reduced our product development time since we don’t need to build a system and then rebuild physically to improve it,” says Peter Höjerback. “We can try different designs with different airflows and the different number of outlets and optimize the product in the digital realm.” If something in the digital simulation needs improvement, our team can make modifications before taking the time and expense to build the physical product. Höjerback continues: “PowerFLOW has been instrumental in helping us improve our airflow technology cost-effectively and efficiently.” 

Read more about the concept, and watch the video of the simulation here