A former Loughborough University student has invented a mobile vaccination fridge that could save millions of lives across the world.
Industrial design and technology graduate Will Broadway has designed the Isobar, which can keep vaccines at the ideal temperature while in transit in developing countries.
Remarkably, 22 year old Will doesn’t plan to make money from his creation, as his only goal is to get his creation to people who need it – which is why he won’t be trying to get a patent. The inventor has stated in interviews that he believes it should be a basic human right to have a vaccination, so he won’t be patenting it as this could restrict it’s use.
Broadway’s invention has won him the annual James Dyson Award for the creation of the Isobar; an award available to students whose product fulfils the brief of ‘design something that solves a problem’.
Current methods of transporting vaccines can result in the vaccines freezing before reaching their destination in countries where poverty and conflict are major obstacles. However with the Isobar, vaccines can be stored at a steady temperature for 30 days.
The clever device works by heating ammonia and water to create ammonia vapours, which are then released into the Isobar’s main chamber when cooling is needed.
The inspiration for Broadway’s invention came following a trip to South East Asia in 2012. Having previously worked at a medical device consultancy, Will has first-hand experience of how large companies monetise life-saving products; and feels that this concept is unfair as such products should be saving lives if they’re available.
Having now finished his degree, his focus is taking the Isobar into production . There is also potential for other non-medical use for Isobar, such as for cooling items on trips away where no power is available.
Despite the array of money-making possibilities, Broadway insists vaccine delivery will remain the primary purpose of his invention. And if production is a success, his device could save over 1.5 million people every year.