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Non-Covid ventilator demand up 50% as hospitals start building permanent facilities

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on August 29, 2021

Vadodara’s Max Ventilator ties up with US-based Amptron Medical to make high flow oxygen therapy devices

Non-Covid ventilator demand in the country has shot up by about 40-50 per cent as more hospitals are seen installing the life-saving device as a permanent facility, a leading industry player said.

“The non-Covid ventilator demand has increased by about 50 per cent from about 9,000-9,500 units in pre-Covid times, to 13,500 now. This is separate from the covid requirements. Most hospitals have realised that ventilators are a permanent requirement,” Ashok Patel, founder of Vadodara-based Max Ventilator, told BuinessLine. The necessity for ventilators was realised during the devastating second wave of Covid-19, when several hospitals in the country faced a severe shortage of ventilators as the number of patients swelled.

According to Patel, nearly 90 per cent of the ventilator-demand is met through imports. Max Ventilator produces about 500-600 ventilators monthly, during peak demand. Patel said Covid-related demand for ventilators has reduced in recent days, but the demand from hospitals to build more ventilator facilities has increased.

High flow oxygen

The demand for high-flow oxygen therapy (HFOT) devices have also gone up due to its growing popularity after the second wave of Covid-19. In fact, Max Ventilator has entered into a technology collaboration agreement with US-based respiratory technology player Amptron Medical to make HFOT devices, ventilators with international specifications matching the standards of IEC 60601.

In the event of an early stage lung damage, the patient is provided regular oxygen. The next level is the non-invasive ventilator called BiPAP. And in the extreme condition, an invasive ventilator is attached to a patient. Patel informed that the HFOT device can be useful in extreme conditions.

“Currently, the HFOT devices are imported from countries like New Zealand. But now we will be able to make it in India. The product development stage is complete and in the next 30-45 days, we plan to produce about 850 such devices,” said Patel adding that the company is also building up its inventory of high-end ventilators to meet the growing demand.

“We are developing the product here under their guidance. We will match the international standards for medical equipment and clinical safety. Until now, Indian (breathing devices) products were limited to having Indian certifications. This also curtailed access to international markets for their products. However, with this joint venture with Amptron, Max intends to go truly global in its manufacturing outlook and approach to expand our presence in developed markets,” said Patel.

While modalities of licensing, manufacturing, and global marketing, sales, and distribution are being worked out, Max would retain the right to marketing, sales, and distribution for the Indian market.

Published on August 28, 2021

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