Covid crisis: TVS group, IIT-Madras develop affordable respiratory assistance device for intensive healthcare

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May 13, 2020 12:20 AM

Its design was evolved over multiple stages using a rapid product development model where a cross functional team worked with top anaesthesiologists, pulmonologists and intensivists from leading hospitals to integrate clinical inputs into the design.

The device will also have a great impact post-Covid as this device can make respiratory support more affordable and available to all.The device will also have a great impact post-Covid as this device can make respiratory support more affordable and available to all.

The TVS group and IIT Madras (IIT-M) have jointly developed a low-cost, automated respiratory assistance device called ‘Sundaram Ventago’ to provide breathing support to patience through controlled and automated squeezing of a self-inflating or Ambu bag. It includes functionalities to control respiratory rate (breaths per minute), tidal volume, pressure parameters and I:E ratios.

‘Sundaram Ventago’ provides physicians a simple and cost-effective option to treat patients with respiratory difficulty in case of shortage of ventilators, and is especially useful in remote areas where ventilator facilities are not available.

The device works with or without compressed/hospital air and oxygen and requires only a standard power connection to operate (easy to use in non-ICU wards, ambulances, remote/rural areas). It can also be used in conjunction with a standard UPS or can be mounted on a crash cart, wheelchair, bed, in an ambulance to support patient mobility.

Developed in association with local hospitals, Sundaram Foundation, with guidance from global educational institutions like MIT-Boston, ‘Sundaram Ventago’ is designed to internationally accepted medical standards with an objective to give every patient quality medical support at an affordable cost, stated the company press release on Tuesday.

Its design was evolved over multiple stages using a rapid product development model where a cross functional team worked with top anaesthesiologists, pulmonologists and intensivists from leading hospitals to integrate clinical inputs into the design.

The device is rugged and uses frugal engineering principles. The simple design comprises three major assemblies — the actuator unit, the electronic control module and the Ambu bag with patient airway circuit. An extensive risk analysis has been performed with Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre of IIT Madras. The ethics committee at Kauvery hospital is in the process of evaluating the device. It is ready to go into production, and manufacturing will be scaled up in line with orders received.

Sriram Viji, deputy managing director, Brakes India, a TVS Group company which makes this device, said, “Looking at the number of Covid-19 cases in India and using proxies around the world, we need to do everything we can to supplement our healthcare system. The TVS group has leveraged its engineering talent and its quality-first approach to develop an affordable respiratory assist device. Sundaram Ventago is a ‘Make in India’ product with a local supply chain, based on proven global technology. It can be produced quickly in larger numbers. The device will also have a great impact post-Covid as this device can make respiratory support more affordable and available to all.”

Commenting on the technical collaboration, Jayaraj Joseph, faculty of electrical engineering at IIT Madras, said, “We are glad to partner with the TVS group in the design of the Sundaram Ventago project. It offers far greater precision than manual pumping, even with 24+ hours of continuous use. The device is versatile and mobile. It constantly monitors and reports respiratory parameters that are important to clinicians and is very easy to use. It also provides the needed patient safety features such as audible alarms for line disconnection or in the case that the PIP exceeds a certain threshold. We also performed a detailed risk analysis towards certification of the product. We look forward to the product succeeding and creating impact in the Indian healthcare system.”

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