IIT Hyderabad start-up develops low-cost, portable ventilator

By Anusha Puppala  Published on  3 April 2020 4:23 PM GMT
IIT Hyderabad start-up develops low-cost, portable ventilator

Hyderabad: The Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad's (IITH) Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) incubated start-up Aerobiosys Innovations has developed a low-cost and portable emergency-use ventilator.

The device, called Jeevan Lite, offers protection to health care providers and can be operated through an app. The device can also be battery-operated, enabling its deployment in areas without assured power supply.

Pursuant to device certification, Aerobiosys Innovations aims to produce at least 50 to 70 units per day through collaboration with an industrial partner. The device can perform both invasive and non-invasive ventilation across a comprehensive set of modes and settings. It can also be used for pediatric and adult patients and will work on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in an uninterrupted manner for five hours without power supply.

Reviewing the progress of this device, Professor B.S. Murty, director of IITH, said, “Senior citizens and elderly patients affected by COVID-19 will need ventilators for emergency life support. Aerobiosys has gone one step ahead by providing personal protection to health care providers through IoT-enabled monitoring.”

Prof. Renu John, co-head of the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship, said, “Jeevan Lite solution from Aerobiosys, unlike other low-cost models, is loaded with features, including wireless connectivity and remote monitoring, that makes it unique and equipped to meet the demands during a pandemic like COVID-19. I strongly urge industry partners and the government to come up and help the start-up towards a large scale-up.”

Aerobiosys Innovations plans to provide Jeevan Lite at a price of Rs. 1 lakh (USD $1,315 approx.) which is significantly economical compared with existing products in the market. To cut down the cost and facilitate remote electronic access to the device, Aerobiosys has developed a mobile app that communicates with the unit and seamlessly controls the functional features of the ventilator.

This would provide enough isolation to the patient and protection to health care providers and family members. The ventilator can be controlled using the app and provides a real-time display of the waveforms. Each breath of the patient is recorded and transmitted to the doctors via a connected app to enable telemedicine support. The device has a provision for attaching an oxygen cylinder and can operate on its own in ambient air.

Aerobiosys co-founder Cyril Antony said Jeevan Lite had all the essential features to treat COVID-19 patients and the startup was collaborating with Hyderabad-based tertiary care hospitals for clinical validation and device certification. Rajesh Thangavel, a co-founder, added, “We are estimating to serve about one lakh people in the first three months. We plan to produce at least 50 to 70 units per day.”

For the elderly and the vulnerable population, especially those with co-morbid conditions such as heart diseases or type 2 diabetes, COVID-19 can be life-threatening unless ventilator assistance is provided. The design and features of Jeevan Lite are in compliance with the requirements mentioned by the ministry of health, the director general life sciences, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Chairman Technical Committee, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Mr Thangavel and Mr Antony are confident that the design for the manufacturing of their device can be delivered by the first week of April.

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