portable ICU Thornhill Medical

Toronto company ramping up ventilator production in COVID-19 fight

A Toronto manufacturer of mobile medical emergency devices is ramping up production in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thornhill Medical, located in downtown Toronto on Dundas Street West, is the manufacturer of the Moves SLC, a compact, portable and battery-operated integrated intensive care unit.

Thornhill Medical was founded in 2004. It is a spin-off from the University Health Network to commercialize the work of Drs. Joe Fisher, Ludwik Fedorko, Steve Iscoe, Jim Duffin and a group of founding engineers.

“The MOVES SLC is a portable ICU that integrates a ventilator, oxygen concentrator, vital signs, and patient monitoring,” said Lesley Gouldie, president and CEO of Thornhill Medical.

Gouldie said historically the primary customer for the Moves SLC has been the military, and it has been used in hospitals on military bases due to its functionality in primary care, ICU surge, and patient transportation. But the technology offers much in the fight against COVID-19.

“Our MOVES SLC also addresses the challenge of providing the large volumes of oxygen required in COVID-19 treatment even if oxygen supply becomes in short supply,” explains Dr. Joe Fisher, co-founder of Thornhill Medical. “My colleagues and I have been working on perfecting this device for 15 years. We are proud of the many lives it has already helped save on battlefields and during natural disasters. The whole team will now throw ourselves into enabling physicians around the world to extend the most sophisticated life support system available to the treatment of their patients at these trying times.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referenced Thornhill Medical specifically as one of the Canadian companies who have joined the fight against COVID-19.

Gouldie said Thornhill Medical has received a letter of intent from the Government of Canada to provide more devices during the pandemic.

“We just are waiting to hear back from them about what the quantities are going to be so we’re just working through those details,” said Gouldie. “We’ve been in touch with the Province of Ontario and we’re just waiting to hear back what volume they’re looking for so we can put a plan in place to ramp up.”

Gouldie expects Thornhill Medical to hire more people as the government’s volume requirements are finalized and it becomes clear how much production will be scaled up to meet the increased demand.