New Delhi: At a time when India’s healthcare system is overwhelmed with coronavirus cases, with 40,000 new COVID-19 positive cases being reported from the country, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras incubated start-up, Modulus Housing solution has developed a unique foldable and portable hospital unit that can be installed anywhere within two hours by four people. The portable hospital is called MediCAB, which is a decentralised approach to detect, screen, identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in their local communities.
Talking about the project, Shreeram Ravichandran, Chief Executive Officer of Modulus Housing, said,
The pandemic is such that it is difficult to construct buildings from scratch as the requirement is immediate. As the rural population density is relatively low, more micro-hospitals can help greatly in tackling COVID-19 cases.
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Currently, the pilot hospital has been recently deployed in the Wayanad district in Kerala to treat coronavirus patients. Sharing more details about the infrastructure of MediCab – the portable hospital, Mr Ravichandran added,
The MediCAB is a foldable unit which is composed of four zones – a doctor’s room, an isolation room, a medical room/ward and a twin-bed ICU, maintained at negative pressure. The cabins are tightly sealed to make it dust-proof, and, have in-built electricals which are just plug-play. The structure leverages the efficacy of modular construction along with indigenous innovation to address the challenges in India spread across various regions when it comes to COVID. India has 0.7 beds per 1,000 persons, as against the benchmark of 5 per 1000 persons specified by World Health Organisation. To address the shortage at this point of time, these portable hospitals will come really handy. Post Covid-19, these can be transformed into micro-hospitals/clinics in rural India where the medical infrastructure needs to be augmented. The structure of the hospital is made in such a way that it can cope up with any weather and is durable.
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The startup collaborated with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) which provided inputs on the certifications and customizations necessary for the project.
Talking about COVID-19 and how these health infrastructures can be best utilised, Mr Ravichandran said,
India’s healthcare system is badly stretched today due to coronavirus pandemic. Secondly, it is very crucial to have health infrastructure in place to win this battle. With a contagious disease such as COVID-19, it is essential to have smart health infrastructure to screen, contain and treat people. In urban areas, there is plenty of existing infrastructures that can be converted to hospitals, it is the rural areas that struggle a lot because of spaces and limited resources. To cope up with this challenge, MediCAB has been designed. Once we see how the outcome is from the prototype that has been set up in Kerala, we will deploy it in other areas as well.
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This is not the first time the start-up has come into the picture or developed such a prototype. The journey of Modulus Housing Solution started in 2015 as a social impact innovation when the deluge in Chennai took hundreds of lives and displaced lakhs from their homes. That is the moment when the IIT Alumni decided to do something about it and set up this start-up. Mr Ravichandran adds,
The first and foremost problem fought by the displaced was shelter and we thought of ways to solve it. After some gruelling research, we came up with the idea of foldable housing. The project was initiated in 2016 as an academic project. We successfully developed a prototype of our model. In 2018, we were declared as the best startup on-campus and also as the best startup in tech and innovation conducted by Shell during Shaastra, which is the annual technical festival of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai. We developed our first product in 2019 and successfully piloted it at IIT Madras Research Park. We also got the opportunity to be part of an elite group of 42 startups to be selected for Rice University business plan, the world’s largest student startup competition. Since then, our products have been purchased by Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, TATA Projects etc. to be used for various purposes including site offices and labour hutments. And now here we are in 2020 dealing with this one of a kind pandemic – coronavirus.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.