Keeping vaccines at a regulated temperature through transportation across developing countries has been a main concern among health officials for years. Thanks to a portable cooling system designed by a 22-year-old student, that might not be a problem for much longer.
Will Broadway is an industrial design and technology graduate from Loughborough University, and created the concept for the device during a project at school. It seems to have done rather well, considering it has recently been awarded the highly regarded James Dyson Award for the UK participants. James Dyson will personally select the international winner on October 27th.
The device, known as the Isobar, maintains a stable temperature of 2 – 8 degrees Celsius for one month. It might seem like a complex idea, but it’s really just basic chemistry. Ammonia is heated with water to create ammonia vapours. These vapours are then released into the main chamber when cooling is required.
2012 was when Will found his inspiration to design the portable refrigeration, after he visited Cambodia and parts of south east Asia.
“These trips sparked an interest,” he told BBC Newsbeat. “It pushed me. Something needs to be solved for this major issue.”
The best part, besides helping millions of people fight illness, is that Will doesn’t want to patent the design.
“I don’t think that it should be patented to restrict use,” he told BBC Newsbeat. “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.”
While the device could potentially save 1.5 million lives, according to the World Health Organization, Will has a broad spectrum of uses for the Isobar.
“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,” says Will to BBC Newsbeat.
To see how the Isobar works, watch the video below:
Feature picture: Tech Radar
By Raven Fon