A team of researchers at Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee (IIT-R) say they have developed a portable ventilator that can give a shot in the arm to India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The ventilator is expected to be priced at around Rs 30,000, almost a fifth of what a conventional ventilator would cost.
A ventilator is a machine that mechanically assists breathing in a person, who is facing breathing difficulty or unable to breathe. While the ventilator takes over the breathing process, it gives the patient time to recover from the infection.
By most estimates, India has 40,000-50,000 ventilators at the moment, and the fight against coronavirus – breathing difficulty is one of its symptoms – leaves the country direly in need of more.
The proposed model will work for patients from all age groups, including kids and elderly, says Arup Kumar Das, professor of mechanical engineering at IIT-R, who is part of the team that has developed it. The team is led by professor Akshay Dwivedi of the same department and it has worked in consultation with Debendra Kumar Tripathi, an anaesthetist at AIIMS Rishikesh.
The newly developed ventilator also works for a wide range of congestion levels, says Das.
The team gave a presentation to officials of the Confederation of Indian Industry in a webinar and the response has been quite positive. “It was highly appreciated by industrialists and manufacturers,” he says, and expects that it will go into production very soon. The IIT-R researchers are also trying to make it remote-controlled so that doctors sitting at home could also access the data.