PUDUCHERRY: A team of Auroville engineers with medical assistance from Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) have designed two low cost ventilators to meet the growing needs of people affected by COVID-19.
These innovative ventilator prototypes have been named 'Tusky' and 'Jasan' and both of these are currently in the medical testing phase.
“The Tusky design has evolved out of open-source repertoire and it is my intention from the very beginning to honour the spirit of shared knowledge and accessibility with this machine, which has been built for the common people,” says Samvit Blass, designer the ventilator and founder of 'Light Fish', an Auroville unit.
Open-source batches will then be donated to local clinics in need, he also said.
The Tusky ventilator, upon receipt of necessary certification, will be offered on a hybrid approach of open-source accessibility and commercial mass production.
It is estimated that a Tusky Ventilator will cost around Rs 20,000 per unit. The project team is now crowd-funding to enable Tusky to sustain through the next essential phase and get medical approval.
On the other hand the 'Jasan' ventilator has been designed by a team of five engineers and programmers and is robost enough to be easily manufactured in India.
It is named after after its inventors and is based on an Ambu bag and a unique scissor design that allows for very precise control of volume and pressure.
A five-inch LCD screen shows volume and pressure curves, and an optional pulse oximeter displays the patient’s blood oxygen saturation on the screen.
The device can deliver precise volumes of between 100 and 700 ml per breath with a breathing rate between 12 and 40 breaths per minute, said the designers.
The machine is in the last phase of an agreement for commercial production upon the necessary certification.
"The idea is to create a low-cost, low-tech ventilator with parts easily available in India, such that it could be replicated and made accessible publicly to homes and clinics for emergency use. A simple device that could be used manually by anyone in life-and-death situations, and which could free up healthcare professionals especially in rural India," the team said.