Biomedical technologists develop powered air purifying respirators

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 21, 2020

File photo   -  REUTERS

Healthcare professionals in the country fighting the Covid-19 pandemic can now breathe easy.

Biomedical technologists at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), a Thiruvananthapuram-based Centre of Excellence under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has developed a novel Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) that can help filter air used for inhalation.

PAPR is usually in the form of a hood which holds a filtered ambient air space for the wearer to breathe. Major advantage of a PAPR is the absence of breathing resistance usually seen in unpowered negative-pressure respirators like N95 masks.

It was designed by public health specialist Praveen Pai along with Kochi-based firm Decshel Scientifics and developed at SCTIMST’s technology business incubator TIMed using DST’s Nidhi Prayas funding scheme. This powered respirator provides filtered air for inhalation using an approved air filter and expels the expired air using a continuous exhaust ventilation through another filter, a statement said on Wednesday.

Decshel-PAPR is designed and developed product taking inputs from a team of physicians, engineers, designers and PPE domain experts and will bring much needed relief and comfort to the frontline workers involved in Covid duty, said S. Balram, CEO, TIMed, which provided the incubation support to this project.

Dscshel-PAPR would cost less than ₹10,000 as compared to similar products which cost ₹50,000 and upwards in other countries, it is said.

More importantly, As this PAPR doesn’t restrict peripheral vision, doctors can do surgery and other procedures wearing them. A fully-charged battery unit of Decshel can work for 8 to 10 hours and its recharging takes less than three hours, said the statement.

Published on October 21, 2020

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