ROORKEE: Start-ups, entrepreneurs from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee are trying to tackle COVID-19 epidemic by innovation, developing technologies and medical devices on a war footing.
“It is heartening to learn that our incubated companies, past and present, are coming forward to tackle COVID-19. We stand with the government at this critical juncture and I am very hopeful that our country will be successful in protecting us from widespread misery,” said Professor Ajit K Chaturvedi, director of the IIT Roorkee.
Incubated at TIDES Business Incubator, these products are going to be available in the market pretty soon, covering the broad spectrum from diagnosis, treatment and safety in a pandemic situation.
“During this unprecedented time, we are committed to augmenting the government efforts to tackle COVID-19. TIDES Business Incubator plays a catalytic role in encouraging spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation. By designing equipment for diagnosis, treatment and safety, we are gearing to meet the challenges in this crisis,” said Azam Ali Khan, CEO, TIDES, IIT Roorkee.
Log9 Materials, a Sequoia & Exfinity funded startup, has come up with an innovative, first-of-its-kind product named CoronaOven that makes use of UV-C light in combination with significant design parameters in order to effectively sanitize the surfaces of various products/objects of regular use in healthcare and household settings, thus preventing surface-to-human transmission (of COVID-19 causing virus).
Graduated from TIDES, Log9 Materials developed this technology within two weeks of time, beating the lockdown challenges which is now ready for mass deployment.
Realizing the immense need for sanitizers to fight COVID-19 spread and the impending shortage, Heal Agnostics Private Limited developed a herbal sanitizer in the lab itself and distributed more than 2500 litres of it, free of cost within IIT Roorkee campus.
The startup is mainly developing technology for fast detection of various type of cancer, but living up to to the true spirit of a social entrepreneur, they rose up to the occasion to meet a timely need.
Shellios, a smart helmets startup, founded by tye IIT alumnus Amit Pathak, is developing a 'Powered Air Purifying Respirator' (PAPR) which can be used by health workers and doctors to counter infection in the hospital premises.
They are also separately working on another model of low-cost respiratory aid.
Vyaan, a cleantech startup, led by a group of the IIT alumni is developing an extremely low-cost reusable mask which can be made available in mass quantity.
Test right Solution, founded by alumnus Shubham Rathore, is developing a Real-Time PCR and virus detection kit.
This indigenously developed system is expected to be floated at 1/4th of the cost and would multiply the number of tests conducted, by enhancing the existing hospital and lab facilities available in the country.
TBS Planet, a media-tech start-up at the IIT is providing free online subscription of its comics to motivate children during the lockdown period.
"The most interesting aspect is that the products are developed in a short span of time in the labs itself, overcoming the limitations of supply chain and access to equipment. Though the results, thus, achieved, only re-emphasize the role played by the institute and its alumni in such challenging times, added the director.
Earlier, with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the biggest challenge was to ensure sufficient quantity of Ventilator.
Professor Akshay Dwivedi and professor Arup Das, from the department of mechanical engineering, along with All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh developed a low cost, portable closed-loop ventilator. Aptly named, ‘Pran Vayu’, the ventilator has feedback that can control tidal volume and breath per minute.
Some of the features of the ventilator are remote monitoring by health professionals, touch screen control of all operating parameters, moister, and temperature control for inhaled air.
"The ventilator has generated extraordinary interest from the industry community with several offers for manufacturing in scale. The team has also developed face shields which can be used by health workers/ doctors while treating COVID-19 patients," said Akshay Dwivedi.
Raven Eye, an incubated startup founded by professor Kamal Jain of IIT has developed a surveillance system to fight COVID-19 through a unique tracking mobile application.
Using geo-fencing technology, the system generates alert if any individual violates quarantine. In case the network is not available, the application will send alert through SMS.