Prana, VaU, Svasta And Shwaas: ISRO’s VSSC Develops Ventilators, Oxygen Concentrator To Support India’s Battle Against Covid-19  

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - May 10, 2021 01:51 PM +05:30 IST
Prana, VaU, Svasta And Shwaas: ISRO’s VSSC Develops Ventilators, Oxygen Concentrator To Support India’s Battle Against Covid-19  ISRO
Snapshot
  • The ventilators developed by ISRO are likely to be priced at around Rs 1 lakh.

    They are claimed to be cost-effective and easy to handle, compared to the mini conventional ventilators which cost around Rs 5 lakh.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), which is the lead body of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) under the Department of Space (DOS), has developed three types of ventilators and an oxygen concentrator to save more lives across India during this deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

The director of VSSC, S Somanath, assured that the technology transfer will be done for the commercial production of all these newly developed medical equipments by the end of May.

The ventilators developed by ISRO are likely to be priced at around Rs 1 lakh.

These ventilators are claimed to be cost-effective and easy to handle, compared to the mini conventional ventilators which cost around Rs 5 lakh.

As reported by the Hindustan Times, Somanath said that based on designs, features and specifications, these medical devices were named “Prana”, “VaU” and “Svasta”.

“All three are user-friendly, fully automated and with touch-screen specifications, meeting all safety standards,” he added.

The Thiruvananthapuram-based space centre started working on these ventilators during the first wave in March 2020.

But the work slowed down after India started to report a low number of Covid-19 cases at the end of last year.

However, VSSC was asked to accelerate their unfinished work after India started to show signs of an unstoppable Covid-19 wave which exhausted the healthcare facilities around the country, making patients gasp for breath.

The sudden rise in Covid-19 cases around India has caused several deaths due to lack of ventilators, disruption in oxygen supply and unavailability of some drugs such as Remdesivir.

But this new medical equipment developed by ISRO’s VSSC will help India fight against this second wave of the pandemic.

Prana can deliver respiratory gas to the Covid-19 patient by automated compression of an AMBU bag (Artificial Manual Breathing Unit), which is commonly used to provide positive pressure ventilation to those people who are not breathing or not breathing adequately.

The other equipment, VaU, is a low-cost ventilator equivalent to currently available high-end ventilators, while Svasta is designed to work without electric backup.

Somanath said: “The system is envisaged as a dual-mode ventilator that can work with either medical air or oxygen from the hospital or with ambient air.”

The space centre also developed “Shwaas”, which is a portable medical oxygen concentrator.

This device is capable of supplying 10 litres of enriched oxygen per minute, which can help two patients at the same time, said VSSC’s director.

Shwaas produces oxygen by separating nitrogen from ambient air through Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA).

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