Engineer, ex-MP develops COVID-19 specific ventilator

Hyderabad: Engineer and former Member of Parliament, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy on Tuesday claimed to have developed a ventilator for COVID-19 patients.

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The rapidly manufacturable Indian COVID Ventilator or ICo-Vent is a COVID-19 specific ventilator that is expected to address the shortage of ventilators in the world.

Reddy, also an entrepreneur and inventor who had headed digital healthcare arms of General Electric and Wipro, said the lifesaving ventilators can be speedily made available for treating the thousands of critically-ill COVID-19 patients who require mechanical ventilation.

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Reddy, who was elected to Lok Sabha from Chevella constituency in Telangana in 2014, claimed that ICo-Vent meets global specifications for COVID-19 specific ventilators. He has already applied for a patent for the technology and function.

“Today, the world needs a million ventilators and with current manufacturers unable to keep up with the supply, we are sure that the ICo-Vent, the first rapidly manufacturable COVID-19 specific ventilator will help to bridge the shortfall. It is the need of the hour and my focus is to ensure this invention benefits humanity,” he said.

The unprecedented COVID-19 episode exposed the inadequacies of healthcare systems worldwide. Being a virus that affects the respiratory system resulting in ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), governments and healthcare systems the world over suddenly found that they needed a lot more ventilators than they had to tackle the COVID situation, but not every ventilator works on COVID-19 positive patients. This led to a global race to design and build ventilators, he observed.

UK, Canada and other governments have come out with a set of specifications defining the minimum clinically accepted criteria for a rapidly manufacturable ventilator to address the COVID-19 situation. India is also in the process of coming out with a similar set of specifications.

“The ICo-Vent addresses the shortcoming of the conventional ventilators used in ICUs for critically ill patients. Most of the other ventilators especially those based on mechanized ambu bags provide no clinical benefits for use on COVID-19 patients, on the other hand, they can potentially cause ventilator induced lung injury and also put healthcare professionals under great risk as their operation can lead to the release of a huge viral load into the ICU atmosphere. Many healthcare workers in other countries have succumbed to this viral load,” said Reddy, who is husband of Apollo Hospital’s Joint Managing Director Sangita Reddy.

The ICo-Vent allows the intensive care specialist or the pulmonologist to order a precise volume of air and oxygen at a precise inspiration pressure and a precise expiration pressure considering the compliance or the elasticity of the lung.

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