As the world faces shortages of medical devices and drugs, Indian car manufacturing firm Mahindra & Mahindra has come up with a low-cost ventilator expected to be a game-changer in battling COVID-19.
The battle of the world against COVID-19 has got quite intense. With a continuous rise in the number of coronavirus cases, there has been an urgent need for producing live saving devices and drugs. The entire world, including even the likes of the US, is facing shortage of ventilators and masks. Even India is experiencing a continuous surge in coronavirus cases each day.
Amidst this crisis, India’s Mahindra Group has now come forward and joined hands with the governments to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent development, a team of Mahindra Group has designed a ventilator design that will aid the Indian government in its efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights! Has Mahindra & Mahindra found a solution for the global problem of ventilators?
- Mahindra’s team in Maharashtra have designed a prototype of an artificial manual breathing unit.
- The ventilator device is expected to cost approximately ₹7,500.
- Mahindra Group is also producing face shields for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.
Mahindra comes up with an ‘AMBU’
The engineering teams of Mahindra based in Kandivali (Mumbai) and Igatpuri (Nashik) manufacturing units have indigenously developed a prototype of a bag valve mask that can be used as a ventilator for COVID-19 patients. An artificial manual breathing unit, called ambu, is a self-inflating device that can assist the COVID-19 patients having breathing problems. The prototype was prepared inside 48 hours.
Mahindra Group has already started the testing of the ventilators and is now approaching the final stage of the product completion. Mahindra called this new ventilator as a ‘game-changer’. The device is expected to cost less than ₹7,500, thereby allowing it to reach a larger mass.
“We are simultaneously working with an indigenous maker of ICU ventilators. These are sophisticated machines costing ₹5-10 lakh. This device is an interim lifesaver and the team estimates that it will cost below ₹7,500.” – Mahindra on Twitter
How does ‘AMBU’ work?
Dr. Pawan K Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra shared a video on Twitter and applauded the efforts made by his team to build an in-house respiratory device. The video also gives a vivid description of the functioning of the device.
The key feature of the device is the air pumping rate, which can be controlled using a switch. The speed of the motor can be controlled using a knob providing 0 to 30 breathes per minute. The machine also has an emergency stop button on the console. There’s another handheld device for the patient having an emergency button and a ‘doctor’s call button’. Mahindra has used standard parts in the device to ensure long term durability and reliability.
Pawan Goenka tweet also stated that the company is looking for a suitable naming suggestion for the ventilator. The device is currently waiting for approval from the government post which its packaging will follow.
Mahindra’s ‘face shields’ for healthcare workers
The ventilator designing is only one side of the coin. The Mahindra group has also been involved in manufacturing face shields that will aid medical practitioners while treating COVID-19 patients. The shields are currently being assembled at the company’s manufacturing plant in Kandivali, Mumbai.
The company plans to produce 500 shields per day initially. The number may shoot up based on the response received. The design of these face shields has been sourced from Mahindra’s partner Ford.
When the situation in the entire country is highly precarious, efforts like the one made by Mahindra & Mahindra is indeed praiseworthy. The company has gone out of its domain to help the patients and medical staffs in the battle against the COVID-19. Hope other Indian organizations and companies can take lessons from Mahindra and join hands in helping the government.