For both healthcare technology professionals and lay users, making sure that mechanical ventilators work properly represents a huge challenge. Ensuring appropriate usage in a variety of care environments, managing the batteries that power these machines, and understanding how different manufacturers’ ventilators operate are just some of the problems confronting users.

The cover story of the July/August 2014 issue of BI&T (Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology), a peer-reviewed journal published by Association For The Advancement Of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), investigates the challenges and opportunities of ventilation technology.

“Managing ventilators and ventilator–dependent patients really comes down to managing complexity—in ventilator clinical care practice standards, device design standards, systems, models, alarms, power, batteries, disposables, use environments, data, and patients,” writes author Martha Vockley.