Kerala startup, US foundation tie up for new affordable ventilator

Kerala startup, US foundation tie up for new affordable ventilator
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Kochi: A Kerala-based startup is part of a consortium that has tied up with a US-based not-for-profit organisation to launch an affordable ventilator to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19.

Located in SmartCity Kochi, Sinergia Media Labs (simelabs) under the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), along with Ionics3DP, Chennai, and Aruvii, Singapore, has tied up with the Project Prana Foundation of Massachusetts, USA.

The tie-up is to operationalise the individualised system for augmenting ventilator capacity which enables patient-specific therapy in several nations the world-over, a KSUM statement said here on Monday. The low-cost emergency device is capable of ventilating two subjects simultaneously.

The innovative system, with a Prana-developed solution called iSAVE, won validity recently, as per a publication in the weekly magazine Science Translational Medicine, the statement said. The three-firm consortium has completed functional prototypes of their designs for BVM-based emergency resuscitator INDVENTR-100 besides INDVENTR-200, a feature- rich pneumatic design that addresses an affordable range of cost and capability points, it said. INDVENTR-100 is priced low. As an ambu bag-based respirator, it offers multiple ventilation schemes, according to Sinergia CEO Derrick Sebastian.

Sebastian said the device, which works on mandatory as well as spontaneous modes, is based on a design by MIT of America. On the other hand, INVENTR-200 goes by a pneumatic blower-based design. It is rich in features, he said.

An advisor of the IndVentr consortium Silji Abraham describes iSAVE as a carefully-designed and thoroughly-tested ventilator-sharing platform. It can quickly scale up the ventilator infrastructure around the world which is currently under heavy challenge by the coronavirus epidemic," Abraham said. According to actor-producer Prakash Bare, the project head at IndVentr: This frugal solution costs less than Rs 20,000. It augments perfectly the solution space we have been focusing on." Project Prana Foundation President Shriya Srinivasan said her organisation and the consortium would offer both low-cost ventilators and multiplexing systems to markets in India and neighbouring countries.

Vice-President of the 2005-incepted foundation Khalil Ramadi said, “this effort is poised to equip and greatly expand the capacity of healthcare systems in developing nations." The 2006-founded KSUM is the Kerala governments central agency for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

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