Pune start-up developing low-cost ventilators to save COVID-19 patients


Pune: Engineers at NOCCA Robotics Private Limited, a start-up in Pune are working on developing low-cost ventilators in a bid to help the country in its fight against coronavirus and eventually save hundreds of lives.

The invasive ventilators being developed by the engineers at NOCCA will cost less than Rs 50,000. A ventilator is a device that helps a patient breathe, giving them time to fight off infections and recover.

NOCCA, a two-year-old start-up which was co-founded in 2017 by IIT Kanpur graduates, makes water-less robots that clean solar plants.

Nikhil Kurele, one of the founders of NOCCA Robotics said, “Our objective is to build a portable ventilator. The ventilators that we are developing will cost less than Rs 50,000.

It is not a full-fledged ventilator. It has features for COVID-19 patients specifically.”
“We got in touch with doctors to develop the ventilators who briefed us as to what exactly happens to a COVID-19 patient. A COVID-19 patient develops acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) which causes the lungs to collapse. The lungs are weak and one can’t rely on a person’s muscles to help him breathe so to avoid that fatigue, the patient needs invasive ventilation,” he added.

“We are going ahead with making 30-40 pieces right now in our factory, and several tests will be done and before launching we will make sure that all clinical trials have been performed and all regulations have been passed. We wish to avoid the gap which is in the market that has been created because the ventilators import and export is not allowed in several countries,” he further said.

As per the estimates by a team of researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, and Princeton University, India’s current capacity is estimated at 30,000-50,000 ventilators. And the country could need as many as one million ventilators to address the peak by July 2020.

India so far has 1834 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 143 patients who have been cured and discharged. There have been 41 deaths reported due to the disease as of Wednesday evening, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. (ANI)