IIT-Kanpur incubated company Nocca Robotics unveils oxygen therapy device to combat COVID-19
Nocca Robotics, an incubatee company of IIT Kanpur, on Wednesday launched a high-flow oxygen therapy device to help in the treatment of coronavirus-positive patients, and reduce the chances of them having to undergo painful intubation procedures to help them breathe.
The device — called Noccarc H210 — provides humidified and oxygen-rich air to patients through a nasal cannula — a non-invasive, non-surgical lightweight tube that has holes at one end which are placed in the nostrils. The heated and humidified gas helps enhance epithelial mucociliary — a process by which the respiratory passage traps and kills foreign particles, including dust and pathogens, thereby reducing the risk of common respiratory problems like pneumonia, a complication that presents often in COVID-19 patients.
"Built to reduce the metabolic cost of breathing, the Noccarc H210 offers maximum comfort to patients with acute and chronic breathing problems. Currently, there is an increased demand in the market for HFNC (high-flow nasal cannula) equipment with the COVID-19 tally rising each day," said Nikhil Kurele, CEO of Nocca Robotics.
The device is equipped with various alarms that can alert a healthcare professional in case of issues such as tube blockage/disconnection, unplugged temperature sensor, and if the oxygen supply is too high or low. It also has a paediatric mode to allow healthcare professionals vary the air-flow rate and use it safely on children.
A shortfall in ventilators, especially during the times of the coronavirus, has been of grave concern for healthcare workers. Primarily responding to a person's respiratory system, ventilators and other palliative breathing equipments are instrumental in helping healthcare workers supplement their efforts to treat COVID-19.
And while an increasing number of companies have jumped into the manufacturing and supply of ventilators, very few have actually managed to meet prescribed standards for medical equipment.
"Pre-COVID-19 times saw a low market for locally made ventilators due to sub-par quality forcing health care institutions to turn to foreign brands. However, the pandemic has created an opportunity for local brands to create high-quality products that are affordable and easily available," Nikhil said in a press release.
Founded in 2017, Nocca Robotics started out as a pure-play robotics company to provide "robotic solutions for real-world problems", as per its press release. Pre-COVID-19, the company had launched two waterless solar panel-cleaning robots for large-scale solar power plants.
The startup ventured into the critical care devices arena after the lockdown. Apart from the Noccarc H210 which will start selling in September, it has an ICU ventilator in its product line. The startup said it was present in more than 60 hospitals across India.