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MediaService Digital Industries Newsroom

Simulation saves lives – Reduced development times for respiratory products thanks to digital twin

Vyaire Medical is a global market leader in the field of health technology. Their portfolio includes respiratory products for the treatment of numerous respiratory diseases.

Each person takes between 17,000 and 23,000 breaths in a 24-hour period – mostly without any conscious effort. In the event of serious illness, something as simple as breathing can become a struggle between life and death. Vyaire Medical develops special respiratory products for exactly these situations. “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 CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics, Ed.) simulations, with idealized breathing holes for the nose and the mouth,” says Dr. Christopher Varga, Senior Engineering Fellow and Senior Director of Research and Development at Vyaire Medical. “Today we are using scans of actual human heads – different morphologies of actual patient features.”

Reduced development times can save lives

Patients 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,” explains 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 using Simcenter allows us to significantly reduce development times by removing the time-consuming process of building and testing physical prototypes,” says 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.”

Vyaire Medical

The story of Vyaire began in the 1950s on two different continents. In the U.S., Forrest Bird invented and refined the mechanical ventilator. Nearly concurrently in Germany, Erich Jaeger developed what would become the first complete laboratory for pulmonary function testing and diagnostics. Today, unified as a singular company, Vyaire Medical operates facilities around the world to manufacture and market more than 25,000 unique products for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of respiratory conditions in every stage of life.

To ensure that its products are tailored as accurately as possible to the individual situation of the relevant patient, Vyaire uses Simcenter STAR-CCM+ for the simulation of its respiratory masks during development.

STAR-CCM+ simulation software from Siemens illustrates how the patient breathes – this example shows the simulation of oxygen delivery for a light mouth breather.

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ simulation software illustrates oxygen delivery for a heavy breather with mouth and nose.

Particularly in the current situation, time savings during development are the biggest benefit of the Siemens solution. 

Instead of simplified head models, Vyaire now develops its masks based on different morphologies of actual patient features.


Ursula Lang

Siemens AG

Gleiwitzer Str. 555
90475 Nuremberg

+49 (911) 895-7947