A 22-year-old British student has invented a mobile fridge called “Isobar” that could save millions of lives across the world. It has been designed to keep vaccines at the ideal temperature while in transit in developing countries.
Will Broadway, is an industrial design and technology graduate student from Loughborough University.
And Will doesn’t plan to make money from his creation. His focus is to get it to people who need it, which is why he won’t be trying to get a patent.
Will’s Isobar has won him the annual James Dyson Award, open to students across the world with a simple brief – design something that solves a problem.
It should be a basic human right, in my opinion, to have a vaccination
– Will Broadway
Current methods of transporting vaccines can result in the vaccines freezing before reaching their destination in countries where poverty and conflict are major obstacles.
The device maintains a steady two to eight degrees for 30 days. It works by heating ammonia and water to create ammonia vapours, which are then released into its main chamber when cooling is needed.
The product has been designed to transport vaccines, but already Broadway sees potential for other medical uses in the developing world and beyond.
“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 says.
There is also a potential, non-medical use for Isobar which could be monetized in the Western world.
“It’s risky but there is potential for commercial cooling. It would be a great thing to take on a five day trip where you have no power,” he says.
But he insists vaccine delivery is the primary function of his invention.
It has been estimated that Will’s invention could save the lives of 1.5 million people across the world, a number he says is “astonishing”.
“I would be hands on, all the way through it, knowing that it works,” he says.
“It’s amazing to just give it a go, even in my back yard, and see the potential of the technology.”
“Medical products have such a big markup that it’s unreasonable for people around the world to purchase these items,” he says.
“If it is the best thing available, then it should be out there saving lives.”