With an aim to provide some relief to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle, a 19-year-old Mumbai student has developed a compact ventilation system for PPE kits.
Nihaal Singh Adarsh is a second-year student of KJ Somaiya College of Engineering; Mumbai has developed a belt-like wearable ventilation system for PPE kits called Cov-Tech Ventilation System which comes with a lithium-ion battery that lasts for 6 to 8 hours.
The design of the ventilation system ensures a complete air seal from the PPE kit. It provides a breeze of fresh air to the user in a gap of just 100 seconds.
The student is inspired from his doctor mother's necessity from where he takes inspiration for his invention. His mother Dr Poonam Kaur Adarsh is a doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients at her clinic in Pune. Every day after returning home, she narrates him the difficulty faced by doctors and nurses, who wear PPE suits and get themselves drenched in sweat. He further participated in a design challenge for COVID-related equipment, organised by Technological Business Incubator, Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory.
Nihaal started working on the prototype and developed the first model after more than six months of hard work, the initial prototype emerged. It was neck-mounted, sucking in air through U-shaped air inlets, and had pillow-like structures which could be worn around the neck.
Mr Nihaal then gave it to Dr Vinayak Mane of Pune for testing. This aspiration for perfection led to the development of around 20 developmental prototypes and 11 ergonomic prototypes till the final product emerged. For this, he got help from Gaurang Shetty, Chief Innovation Catalyst at RIIDL and CEO of Dassault Systems, Pune.
As per the final design, the product can be worn around the waist, just like a belt. It can be attached with the conventional PPE kits. This design serves two purposes -- first, keeps the health workers well-ventilated, while preventing bodily discomfort, and second, keeps them safe from various fungal infections.
Mr Nihaal has created a start-up called Watt Technovations, thanks to a grant of Rs. 10,00,000 for prototype development and product innovation by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
The final product that has come is being used in Pune's SaiSneh hospital and Lotus Multi Specialty Hospital. The product costs Rs. 5,499 per piece and is way cheaper than the competitive products that cost around Rs. one lakh. Nihaal's team is trying to further reduce the price.
The first batch of the product is already out, with around 30-40 units which will be delivered as trial units to doctors/NGOs across the country. The next batch of around 100 units is also under production.