IIT Hyderabad incubated startup develops ventilators

COVID-19: IIT Hyderabad incubated startup develops low-cost ventilator

A startup incubated by the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad has developed a low-cost, portable, emergency-use ventilator claiming the device could help meeting the ventilator requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Named ‘Jeevan Lite,’ the device offers protection to healthcare providers; it is enabled by the Internet of Things and can operate through a phone app. Designed for battery-operation too, it allows deployment in areas without assured power supply, Aerobiosys Innovations said.

Aerobiosys Innovations plans to offer Jeevan Lite at Rs one lakh (USD $1,315) “which is significantly economical compared with existing products.”

“Senior citizens and elderly patients affected by COVID-19 will need ventilators for emergency life support. Aerobiosys has gone a step ahead providing personal protection to healthcare providers through IoT-enabled monitoring,” said Prof BS Murty, director, IITH.

Pursuant to device certification, Aerobiosys Innovations aims to produce 50 to 70 units daily through collaboration with an industrial partner.

Jeevan Lite can perform both the invasive and non-invasive ventilation across a comprehensive set of modes and settings. It can be used for pediatric and geriatric patients and works on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries uninterrupted for five hours, its makers claim.

Prof. Renu John, faculty co-head, Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (which incubated Aerobiosys), and Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IITH, said, “Jeevan Lite, unlike other low-cost models, offers wireless connectivity and remote monitoring. It is equipped to meet the demands of a pandemic situation like COVID-19. We urge the industry partners and the government to handhold the start-up towards a large scale-up.”

The mobile app communicates with the unit and seamlessly controls the functional features of the ventilator thus providing enough isolation to the patient and protection to healthcare providers and family members. 

The ventilator can be controlled using the app and provides a real-time display of the waveforms. Every breath of a patient is recorded and transmitted to doctors via the app to enable telemedicine support. The device has provision for attaching oxygen cylinders and can operate on its own in ambient air.

Aerobiosys co-founders Rajesh Thangavel and Cyril Antony say the manufacturing design is expected to be delivered in the first week of April.

Antony says Jeevan Lite has all features to treat COVID-19 patients as advised by pulmonologists. “We are collaborating with Hyderabad-based tertiary care hospitals for clinical validation and device certification.”

Jeevan Lite meets all requirements professed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, DRDO, Indian Council of Medical Research, Thangavel says.

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