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Nigeria’s Dayo Olakulehin Creates Portable Ventilator to Improve Respiratory Care in Low-Resource Settings

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Access to healthcare is a major issue that developing countries face on a daily basis. Even before the COVID-19 scenario, individuals perished in hospitals on a daily basis due to a lack of suitable healthcare equipment, the most important of which is a ventilator, which is extremely limited, particularly in Nigerian hospitals, where Dayo Olakulehin was born.

This ventilator, often known as “gas” in local slang, offers mechanical ventilation, which is critical for saving lives. It is not only difficult to obtain, but it is also costly for patients to pay for. But, a personal experience spurred Dayo Olakulehin to create the D-Box portable ventilator, which revolutionized the game.

Dayo Olakulehin, a biomedical expert, was charged with preserving the life of a five-year-old kid who required a ventilator throughout the night while working in the emergency department at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Nevertheless, the ventilators at the time required manual operation, and Dayo passed out from tiredness after four hours of manually squeezing a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) bag.

Fortunately, the boy’s father awakened him up at midnight, allowing him to continue using the ventilator and ultimately saving the boy’s life. This incident, combined with a sense of powerlessness, inspired Dayo to create a portable ventilator that could automatically conduct CPR, a breakthrough that might possibly save many lives.

Dayo Olakulehin has a strong educational background in biomedical engineering, which equips the platform with the knowledge and abilities needed to create novel medical services. He received his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering with honors from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria.

From the University of Lagos in Nigeria, he earned a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering. He then went on to the University of Leeds, where he earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. His Ph.D. study focuses on establishing an unique ultrasound approach for assessing muscle electrical activity.


Olakulehin’s success in developing medical devices has been boosted by his wide educational background. Olakunle’s most notable invention is the world’s first portable ventilator with automatic CPR. Rapid intervention is critical in emergency situations such as cardiac arrest, which is why this gadget, known as the D-box, was developed. Because it is tiny, light, and easy to set up, the D-Box is ideal for use in both hospital and non-hospital environments.

It is designed for use by first responders, emergency medical technicians, and medical professionals to immediately intervene on behalf of people who are experiencing cardiac or respiratory arrest. The D-Box incorporates cutting-edge technology such as dynamic pressure control and automated CPR to improve the patient’s lung function and chances of life. Furthermore, the device includes an integrated oxygen concentrator, allowing it to provide oxygen to patients who require it.

In addition to the D-box, Olakulehin has developed other medical devices, including a low-cost oxygen concentrator for use in low-resource situations and a non-invasive glucose monitor for diabetics. Olakulehin recently collaborated with Orangeville businessman Louis Sapi to develop the LifeAir G1 emergency ventilator after relocating to Canada.

Olakulehin’s work has earned him numerous honors and recognition. He was designated a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014, in addition to being nominated for the Royal Academy of Engineering Prize. In 2016, he was also awarded the African Economic Congress’s Nigeria Emerging Star Award.

Dayo Olakulehin’s work demonstrates the usefulness of engineering and creativity in addressing some of society’s most pressing concerns. His medical technology advancements have the potential to save lives and increase the standard of care, especially in locations with limited resources.

Written by PH

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