Will Broadway, a British industrial design and technology graduate from Loughborough University, has invented a mobile fridge named Isobar to store the vaccines at an optimum temperature as they are being transported. Broadway’s project is altruistic and he does not intend to make money from it.
Broadway aims to make his product available to those who need it. Thus, he has decided not to file a patent for his invention.
“I make things every day for people who have everything. I wanted to make something for people who have next to nothing. It should be a basic human right, in my opinion, to have a vaccination. I don’t think that it should be patented to restrict use.”
Broadway has already won the annual James Dyson Award for his invention. The Isobar accurately meets the brief of the prestigious award: design something to solve a problem.
In countries plagues by internal conflict and poverty, transportation of vaccines is a major challenge. Usually, the vaccines freeze before they arrive in the target areas.
Isobar is an intelligent system that uses ammonia and water to create ammonia vapours. The fumes are released into the chamber, when needed. The Isobar can maintain the vaccine storage chamber at 2-8 degrees for up to 30 days.
Broadway travelled to Cambodia and South East Asia in 2012 where he got a chance to work on a portable refrigeration unit.
“These trips sparked an interest. It pushed me. Something needs to be solved for this major issue. Medical products have such a big mark-up that it’s unreasonable for people around the world to purchase these items. If it is the best thing available, then it should be out there saving lives.”
The estimates suggest that up to 1.5 million lives could be saved by this invention. Broadway has graduated and intends to take his invention into production.
Broadway envisions that in future the technology could be used to store other necessary medical supplies, apart from the vaccines, in transit.
“Blood donations, organ transplants – if they get stuck in traffic, you still use cold-packs that really aren’t adequate for long periods of time.”
He is also looking into the non-medical use of Isobar, say for a trip into the wild with no power for four days! You can learn more about Will Broadway’s groundbreaking invention in this video: