KOCHI: Responding to the increase in demand for ventilators across the country in view of Covid-19, Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has developed an affordable respiratory assistance device (RAD), which has attracted a funding of `20 lakh from a global investment group. KSUM developed five prototypes of RAD under the project ‘Breath of Hope’, which is a collaborative effort of the health department, various startup companies and super fab labs, in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“The prototype is ready and we have made some corrections in the original design. The prototype will be sent to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for evaluation and approval. Once the project is approved, we will utilise the funding provided by the investor to manufacture more RADs. We had received several enquiries when we first announced the project and I am confident the product will be useful in emergency situations,” said Saji Gopinath, chief executive officer of KSUM.
Meanwhile, PGIM India Mutual Fund, a global investment management group, announced its decision to
provide financial support to ‘Breath of Hope’, under which KSUM is developing a fully indigenous mechanical ventilator at just `15,000 per piece.
“A prototype has already been made and is preparing to get into rapid production now. PGIM India Mutual Fund is funding more than 10 per cent of the overall cost of this path breaking project to help accelerate production in the first phase. The `20-lakh assistance at this stage comprises employee contribution and a matching company grant,” said Ajit Menon, chief executive officer, PGIM India Mutual Fund.
“This initiative to produce low-cost indigenous ventilators inspired us due to its potential to augment supply of ventilators across the country and the collaborative, open-source manner in which it was done. We hope our humble support to this initiative will not only fill the current need, but accelerate India’s journey to health care preparedness as well,” said Ajit.