Bengaluru-based startup launches portable ventilator for coronavirus patients

Speaking with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Biodesign’s MD and CEO Gautham Pasupuleti, said Biodesign’s product RespirAID provides positive pressure ventilation and can be used as a reliable alternative to manual ventilation.

Coronavirus causes respiratory distress in infected patients and has led to an increased need for ventilation infrastructure in India. At a time when many individuals and organisations are trying to help solve the crisis, Bengaluru-based startup Biodesign Innovation Labs is providing a portable ventilator to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with YourStory Media Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Biodesign’s Managing Director and CEO Gautham Pasupuleti said that hospitals and caretakers with limited resources often resort to manual ventilation using ‘AMBU bags’ which can lead to inconsistency in the ventilation parameters and exhaustion.

According to Gautham, Biodesign’s portable ventilation device named RespirAID can be a reliable alternative to manual ventilation.

Making ventilation easy

Founded in 2017 by Adithya Pasupuleti and his brother Gautham Pasupuleti, Biodesign aims at providing low-cost ventilation solutions in India. Both brothers launched the startup after they noticed a serious lack of ventilators in India which caused many patients to lose their lives.

According to Gautam, Biodesign’s product RespirAID is a mechanical ventilation assisting device which addresses the inconsistency, unreliability, and exhaustion caused by an AMBU bag or manual ventilation.

The device provides intermittent positive pressure ventilation and its portable size allows healthcare professionals to carry it easily during transportation and emergency situations.

For the uninitiated, AMBU bag or manual resuscitator or self-inflating bag is a hand-held device which is used to provide positive pressure ventilation to patients. However, according to Gautham, studies reveal that such manual ventilation can be inconsistent and can lead to exhaustion.

“Our device fits into a situation where hospitals can use it in ambulances and emergency wards to stabilise the patient. The device provides intermittent positive pressure ventilation and delivers specific breath rate as set by the clinician or a paramedic. It can provide ventilation appropriately and stabilise the patient,” Gautham said.

Gautham clarified that one machine cannot be used on multiple patients.

Demand for product

Earlier this month, Biodesign was nominated by Bengaluru-based incubator Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) as deployment-ready coronavirus innovation. 

We have done a few pilots which has generated a huge demand for the product. For example, a Kerala distributor is asking us to provide 1,000 ventilators,” Gautham said.

He added that the startup is currently looking for investors or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to scale up the manufacturing process to meet the demand.

“Currently, we are being supported by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) which functions under the Department of Biotechnology. We have a research lab and are now setting up a manufacturing and assembly facility,” Gautam added.

Edited by Javed Gaihlot


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