Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) have initiated steps to develop portable ventilators which are manufactured at a very low cost when compared to those available in the market.
As the number of cases of COVID-19 rising significantly with each passing day in the country, the demand for ventilators is growing tremendously. According to a recent survey, the Indian hospitals are having not more than 5,000 ventilators across all the private and government hospitals in the country.
If in case the COVID-19 pandemic explodes in the coming days in the country, India will face a pathetic situation as the present healthcare system in the country is not adequately equipped with enough ventilators to face the possible healthcare emergency.
In view of the above, the researchers at IIT-Kanpur have initiated steps to develop portable ventilators which are available at a very low cost compared to those available in the market.
According to Nikhil Kurule and Harshit Rathore of IIT Kanpur, presently available invasive ventilators in the market are costing around Rs. 4 lakh per unit. However, the portable ventilators being developed by the graduates of IIT-K will just cost Rs. 70,000 per unit. “The main reason for high cost of presently available ventilators in the markets is because most of the components of these ventilators are imported, however the proposed portable ventilators made in India are available at a very low cost because all the spare parts are sourced from within India,” observed the researchers from IIT-K.
In fact earlier Nikhil Kurule and Harshit Rathore have decided to begin a start-up called ‘Nocca Robotics’ incubated at IIT Kanpur. They have developed a prototype for the portable ventilators and after the successful completion of the trials on the proto-type, now they have decided to go for mass production. To give final nod for the prototype, lead scientists and professionals from IIT Kanpur and doctors’ community from Narayana Institute of Cardiac Sciences (NICS) have formed a nine-member team and vetted the prototype. “As the prototype has been cleared by the expert team we have decided to manufacture about 1,000 portable ventilators ready within a month,” informed the researchers.
While revealing about the portable ventilator technology, Amitabha Bandhopadhyay, Professor of IIT Kanpur Incubation centre said that the portable ventilators will be permanently connected to a mobile phone which will be used to control the device and display critical information. The device will not require any form of medical air and will be capable of operating on its own in ambient air. These ventilators are also designed with a provision for attaching oxygen cylinder, when required.
While this is so, the DRDO has also decided to build ventilators so as to meet the growing demand in the coming days. According to Dr. G Satheesh Reddy, chairman of DRDO, the organisation has decided to produce at least 5000 ventilators per month which are very much required for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.