HYDERABAD: Amidst the mounting oxygen crisis in the country caused by second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Hyderabad-based companies are developing essential technological solutions that will play an important role in saving the lives of patients in severe health conditions.
One such firm is the Apollo Computing Laboratories, which has developed a portable non-invasive ventilator named SwasthVayu that weighs less than 3 kg. Developed in collaboration with the CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, it costs just around Rs 1.25 lakh per unit.
The company has already provided around 1,200 of these ventilators to nine hospitals run by the Delhi government, recently supplied a few units to the government of Jharkhand and has another 2,000 ready to be shipped.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Baddam Jaipal Reddy, Managing Director of Apollo Computing Laboratories and a former ISRO scientist, said that the device can be utilised in medical wards, make-shift hospitals or even at home.
It has been successfully tested on hundreds of COVID-19 patients at various hospitals, including Mysore Medical College Hospital and Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad.
An important feature of Swasth- Vayu is that it has three layers of filtration mechanism - one each at the inlet, inter-stage and exhale stage - to prevent inhaling or exhaling of aerosol and droplets by COVID-19 patients as well as healthcare personnel.
Hyderabad innovator's device generates oxygen from hydrogen peroxide
Apart from this, it also comes with a built-in Li-ion battery that provides two to four hours of battery back-up, which can prove crucial during power cuts or while shifting patient from one hospital to another. The device is also programmed to generate six alarms to alert the medical attendants for patient breath cycle detection and has provision to source oxygen up to 15-30 litres per minute.
Another essential product is an oxygen generator that uses a commonly available chemical - hydrogen peroxide - to produce oxygen, designed by Praveen Gorakavi, a Hyderabad-based chemical engineer, innovator and co-founder of startup The Phi Factory.
Pointing out that there have been many instances of COVID-19 patients dying of suffocation at home while waiting for an ambulance with oxygen facility, Gorakavi said that his product, named Project Vayuputra, is mainly aimed at avoiding such deaths.
This product, which would cost as low as Rs 2,500, comes with 20 liters of hydrogen peroxide sufficient enough to serve a person for 12 hours with medical grade oxygen of 96 per cent purity.
Gorakavi said that he has already applied to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) seeking NOC for the product and also to the Drug Control Authority of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
"We are ready to free-source and also have identified manufacturers in Hyderabad and are scouting for more manufacturers in other cities as well who are ISO certified and follow GMP. We will soon take up testing of the product with 500 models. If everything goes well, it will be available by May 15," he said.