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KOCHI: A consortium of three startups, one in every of them helmed by arthouse actor and producer Prakash Bare, has prototyped two cost-effective ventilator designs which can be readying to enter validation and testing section. The consortium, Indventr plans to fabricate the units in India and make them obtainable in value ranges beneath Rs 8,000 and Rs 75,000.
“The ventilator designs are the result of long-distance collaboration by Kochi-based Sinergia Media Labs, with expertise in IoT, mobile and cloud software; Singapore-based Ionic3DP, which is into 3D printing and robotics; and artificial intelligence startup Aruvii, based in Chennai,” says Bare, Sinergia director and a movie and theatre actor recognized for his roles in additional than 20 movies together with Ivan Megharoopan and Oraalpokkam. A recognized technologist, Bare holds an MTech in Microelectronics from IIT-Kanpur and has expertise in chip designing and acted as a coordinator for the undertaking. Another key member was Prahlad Vadakkepat, affiliate professor on the National University of Singapore, who focuses on frugal improvements.
To increase funds for the undertaking, Indventr additionally launched a crowdfunding initiative within the web site, Shareyourfortune.org. “While the low-priced version, Indventr-100 is an ambu bag-based respirator, based on MIT design, that offers multiple ventilation schemes under mandatory and spontaneous modes, Indventr-200 follows a pneumatic blower-based design and is feature rich,” says Sinergia Media Labs CEO Derrick Sebastian.
“One key challenge we faced was that the teams were all working remotely because of the pandemic. While our software team was in Kochi, the mechanical team was in Chennai and one of the main contributors was in Singapore. There were also resource persons in the US and Bengaluru. But we could mount a virtual working environment with the help of technology,” says Sebastian.
“Some of the technologies that we have developed while designing them are patentable,” stated Vadakkeppatt.
Bare says they took up the undertaking as a part of social duty. “The main reason behind hefty ICU bills are the pricey ventilators, which have been monopolized by a few companies in the west. Much of the cost is incurred from valves and sensors that come from China. These can be easily manufactured in India at a much lower cost,” says Bare.
Once they get certification from ICMR and correct medical trials are held, Indventr intends to maneuver into manufacturing as an US-based pharma firm and a national-level PSU have proven curiosity within the undertaking. “But a worrying thing is that India doesn’t have an ecosystem to test these products apart from validation by agencies like ICMR. In the long run this is going to be a challenge,” Bare stated.