When simulation can help save lives

17 April 2020

Vyaire Medical is using simulation and digital twin technologies to help reduce development times for respiratory products.

Vyaire Medical (Vyaire) produces respiratory products for the treatment of numerous respiratory diseases. To ensure that its products are tailored as accurately as possible to the individual situation of each patient, the company uses precise models, based on scans of actual human heads, during development. 

Another essential aspect for the efficient development process is the digital twin of products, which Vyaire creates using software solutions from Siemens Digital Industries Software. This enables it to largely eliminate physical prototypes, helping to save both time and money. 

Dr. Christopher Varga, Senior Engineering Fellow and Senior Director of Research and Development at Vyaire Medical explains further: “Traditionally we were forced to use simplified models in the development of a respiratory mask. We would have used a simplified head model for our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, with idealised breathing holes for the nose and the mouth. Today we are using scans of actual human heads – different morphologies of actual patient features.”

Each patient will differ not only physically, but also in their way of breathing. In addition, each patient has a unique breathing profile that depends on their lung function and structure. All of these factors can be taken into account in the simulation of a breathing human. “We are starting to build a library of patient morphologies, which already consists of representative patient geometries for all of the patient populations: adult, paediatric and infant,” continued Varga. 

Vyaire also makes the most of the opportunities offered by simulation on another level, using Simcenter STAR-CCM+ simulation software from Siemens. “Having the capability to develop a digital twin of our products allows us to significantly reduce development times by removing the time-consuming process of building and testing physical prototypes,” said Varga. He believes that the biggest benefit realised by the Siemens solution is time. “We can make products much quicker and that of course is very important in today’s environment.”

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