- Nihaal developed Cov-tech, a PPE ventilation system
- Cov-tech can be worn on top of PPE kit like a belt
- The product costs Rs 5,499 per piece
New Delhi: Dr. Poonam Kaur Adarsh is treating COVID-19 patients at Adarsh clinic, Pune, a clinic she herself runs. Every day after returning home, she would narrate the difficulty faced by her and other frontline workers, who have to wear PPE suits and get themselves drenched in sweat, to her son, 19-year-old Nihaal Singh Adarsh. Nihal, who is a second-year engineering student at Mumbai’s K J Somaiya College of Engineering, wanted to do something to help his mother and many other doctors and nurses fighting COVID-19 like her.
With this aim and inspiration, Nihaal developed a ‘cool PPE kit’ which is a compact, belt-like ventilation system for PPE kits.
Talking about the invention ‘Cov-Tech’, Nihal explains,
Cov-Tech Ventilation System is like you are sitting under the fan even while you are inside the PPE suit. It takes the surrounding air, filters it, and pushes it into the PPE suit. Normally, due to lack of ventilation, it is hot and humid within the PPE suit; our solution offers a way out of this uncomfortable experience, by creating a steady airflow inside.
The design of the ventilation system ensures a complete air seal from the PPE kit. It provides a breeze of fresh air to the user in a gap of just 100 seconds, he added. The PPE kit comes with a lithium-ion battery that lasts for 6 to 8 hours.
With his innovation, Nihaal went on to participate in a design challenge for COVID-related equipment, organised by Technological Business Incubator, Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory.
When he started working on the prototype, he developed the first model within 20 days.
I got support from Somaiya Vidyavihar University’s RIIDL (Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory), supported by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB).
The initial prototype was neck-mounted, sucking in air through U-shaped air inlets, and had pillow-like structures which could be worn around the neck. Dr Vinayak Mane from Pune helped Nihaal by testing the equipment.
We wanted this prototype to be tested by some unbiased doctors and hence approached Dr. Vinayak Mane. He pointed out that wearing it around the neck will be a big discomfort for doctors and health care workers, due to the constant sound and vibration the device emitted. So, we discarded the prototype and started working on further designs. Nihaal said.
This feedback led to the development of around 20 developmental prototypes and 11 ergonomic prototypes till the final product was found.
This is when the final product, which can be worn around the waist, just like a belt emerged.
It can be attached with the conventional PPE kits, and serves two purposes; first, keeps the health workers well-ventilated, while preventing bodily discomfort, and second, keeps them safe from various fungal infections.
Since the ventilator is worn close to the body, high-quality components have been used and safety protection measures have also been taken care of. When I told my mom that I am going to file a patent for this product, she was very happy. Being a General Physician, my mother uses it whenever she goes out for work, Nihaal said.
Nihaal is now a founder of a start-up called Watt Technovations, thanks to a grant of Rs 10 Lakhs for prototype development and product innovation by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
He revealed that he did not aim for this but just genuinely wanted to help his mother during this difficult time.
I never thought of going commercial initially. I thought of making it only on a small scale and giving it to the doctors I personally know. But later on, when we made it feasible, I realised that the problem is such a massive one, something our healthcare workers face on a daily basis. That is when we thought of making a commercial plan so that it is available for everyone in need, he said.
Cov-Tech is being used in Pune’s Sai Sneh hospital and Lotus Multi-Specialty Hospital. The product costs Rs 5,499 per piece and Nihaal’s team is trying to further reduce the price. The first batch of the product is already out, with around 30-40 units which will be delivered as trial units to doctors and NGOs across the country while around 100 units are under production.
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.