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Latest News! ISRO develops 3 Ventilators, Oxygen Concentrator to Support India’s Battle against Covid-19

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has developed 3 types of ventilators and an oxygen concentrator to save more lives across India during this deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The director of VSSC, S Somanath assured that Technology transfer will be done for the commercial production of these three ventilators and the one oxygen concentrator by the end of this month itself. Likely to be priced around Rs.1 lakh, the ventilators developed by the ISRO were cost-effective and easy to handle compared to the mini conventional ventilators that are currently priced around Rs.5 lakh.

“Based on designs, features and specifications, we’ve named them, Prana, VaU and Svasta. All three are user-friendly, fully automated and with touch-screen specifications, meeting all safety standards,” the director said, adding doctors and other experts have checked its efficacy and confirmed it meets international standards.

However, the VSSC started working on these ventilators during the first wave of COVID- 19 in March 2020 but the speed of work slowed down with the threat decreasing late last year. So, the institute was asked to expedite work after the second wave of the disease shocked the country’s healthcare system, causing several deaths due to lack of ventilators, oxygen and Covid-19 medicines such as Remdesivir.

While unique naming i.e. Prana is supposed to deliver respiratory gas to the patient by automated compression of an Ambu bag, Svasta is meant to figure without electrical power, and VaU is a low-cost ventilator equivalent to commercially available high-end ventilators.

“The system is envisaged as a dual- mode ventilator which will work with either medical air/oxygen from the hospital or with ambient air,” director S Somanath said.

The VSSC has also manufactured a portable medical oxygen concentrator called Shwaas. “It is capable of supplying 10 litre enriched oxygen per minute, adequate for 2 patients at a time,” he said. It improves the oxygen gas content by selectively separating the nitrogen gas from ambient air through Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) which is generally used for the production of oxygen from air, he added.

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