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Covid Battle: Odisha Engineering Students Develop Low-Cost Ventilator For Patients Having Breathing Issues

Bhubaneswar: You are probably mistaken if you think only scientists, tech-giants and leading industries in the country are aiding the fight against the Covid pandemic. A group of students from IIIT Bhubaneswar have reportedly developed low-cost ventilators to deal with patients having respiratory disorders and those experiencing shortness of breath.

Ananya Aprameya from Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district along with some of his friends came up with this uniquely designed portable ventilator attached to a pumping air-bag to help Covid-infected people and other patients facing asphyxia. They started the project after enforcement of the nation-wide lockdown and finally the device ‘Swasner’ is ready. Another benefit of this pumping-ventilator is it’s available at much cheaper price than the ones available in market.

“Due to lack of resources or knowledge regarding the application/operation, there seems to be a shortage of ventilators in hospitals. Focusing on this issue, we had 4-5 designs ready but then came up with this bubble helmet device which we had already researched on. We were inspired by the research being done at the University of Chicago (Medicine) and we started developing it under the guidance of our teacher Prof Sura Sharma. We had to go with this idea because we think there’s a huge difference between Indian and US market and medical industries. We developed this device according to the medical needs and requirements of patients here,” said Ananya, who is now in his 3rd year B.Tech.

“The materials used have been certified by Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET), Bhubaneshwar. The device has the potential to meet the demand for ventilators across the country. We are open for rigorous trials at the hospitals too, and so far two trials have been conducted at hospitals in Cuttack. We want this to be well-equipped and more developed, in case required, so that common people are benefited and the number of deaths due to lack of ventilators also comes down,” the student added.

“In case there is shortage of ventilators, people encountering breathing issues can use this air-pumping device. It will ensure there is constant supply of oxygen at least for some hours. I hope this will prove to be extremely beneficial for patients,” says Bishnupriya Senapati, Ananya’s mother.

Speaking on the device, Dr Pranabananda Patra posted at the Bhanjanagar hospital as a medicine specialist, said, “When the device is connected to oxygen cylinders, the supply will be more concentrated and it will help Covid patients and all those suffering from breathing problems. So, I think it will be helpful.”

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