From Flight Tests to Ventilators
Helping CAE To Pivot in Meeting Healthcare Needs
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Get to Know CAE
Formerly known as Canadian Aviation Electronics Ltd, CAE was founded in 1947 by an ex-Royal Canadian Air Force officer with the purpose of bringing the skills of a smart, innovative and war-trained team into the post-war technology race.
CAE has been a tech company from the start, and its early work on telecommunications and electronic equipment paved the way for the company to become the leader in a very new field: flight simulation.
Today, CAE is a global leader in training for civil aviation, defence & security and healthcare. They’ve worked hard to pioneer advances in Virtual Reality and become the go-to option for simulation training across multiple industries.
From Aviation to Healthcare
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, most of CAE’s work was in training pilots and crew members through simulation-based training in its 65+ training centres—the largest aviation training network in the world—or through live flights in its academies.
With the aviation industry hit hard by the pandemic, CAE’s healthcare branch has proven more invaluable than ever as we were facing a global health crisis. Primarily, the company’s focus in both aviation and healthcare has been the same: simulated training. Their cutting-edge work in VR as well as the development of patient simulators to help in different healthcare simulations have forever changed the way medical students and professionals learn a number of different techniques and life-saving procedures in a safe and controlled environment.
Of course, Covid did more than just suspend most air travel, it also taxed our global healthcare system and exposed a deep need for ventilators.
The CAE Air1 Mechanical Ventilator
As a number of companies discovered at the beginning of the pandemic, having the skills and the knowledge to manufacture complex machines does not automatically lead to knowing how to create a ventilator. With its medical and software expertise, CAE started its design from scratch. The results are a ventilator the likes of which the world has never seen before.
The CAE Air1 ventilator primarily differs from other ventilators in its UI/UX design. The screen is touch-enabled bringing it in line with most contemporary popular tech hardware, and it features a larger screen, so the information displayed is clearly visible from farther away. This large and clear display helps healthcare professionals by allowing them to read the information without needing to fully enter the patient’s room. When entering and leaving each patient’s room requires extensive sterilization processes, this feature is crucial.
The ease of use and the updated touchscreen are just the beginning of what sets this machine apart. With the CAE Air1 ventilator, CAE Healthcare is not only rising to meet the needs created by the pandemic, but also contributing to the future of healthcare.
Ventilator User Testing
For our part, Valtech was brought in when the time came for testing and perfecting the ventilator and the UX. Our experience in creating unique UI/UX for our clients, combined with our agile work style and global teams, made us the perfect fit for the project.
We were able to deliver the first user test on the ventilator, offer suggestions to improve the UI, flows, and provide insights based on user research which is extremely valuable in that context. We delivered the first AI interface on the ventilator and are working to help roll out future updates for the software.
The project with CAE is still ongoing. Future updates to the software will keep the CAE Air1 ventilator on the cutting edge of healthcare technology. For the time being, the CAE Air1 ventilators are being manufactured and will soon be shipped by the Government of Canada to healthcare facilities around the country.