The hot and sultry summer weather makes it extremely difficult for healthcare professionals and caregivers, because they have to constantly wear a PPE suit when dealing with COVID-19 patients. It can be stifling inside these suits and doctors have to wear these for long hours without a break. But what if they can get a PPE kit that has a cooling effect on the person who wears it? Sounds fantastic, right? Thanks to a student from Mumbai, Nihaal Singh Adarsh, a second-year student of K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering, a ‘Cool’ PPE kit is now a reality. Named ‘Cov-Tech’, the compact and frugal innovation is a ventilation system for PPE suits, bringing much-needed relief for healthcare workers on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle. The initial design was a neck-mounted device, sucking in air through U-shaped air inlets, and had pillow-like structures which could be worn around the neck. But this was likely to cause discomfort for health care workers, due to the constant sound and vibration the device emitted. So, this prototype was discarded. After a lot of trial and error, the final product, in the shape of a belt worn around the waist was finalised.

How is this PPE kit different?

PPE suits are uncomfortable. Due to lack of ventilation, it is hot and humid within the PPE suit. Cov-Tech uses a unique ventilation system. When you wear this suit, it will be like you are sitting under the fan even while you are inside the PPE suit. It takes the surrounding air, filters it and pushes it into the PPE suit. The air flow is steady and keeps the wearer comfortable for as long he or she wears the suit. Hihaal says that the design of the ventilation system ensures a complete air seal from the PPE kit. It also provides a breeze of fresh air to the user in a gap of just 100 seconds.

How to wear this PPE suit

The product can be worn around the waist, just like a belt. You can be attach it to the conventional PPE kits. This design serves two purposes — it keeps the health workers well-ventilated, while preventing bodily discomfort and keeps them safe from various fungal infections. Since the ventilator is worn close to the body, high-quality components have been used and safety protection measures have also been taken care of. The system comes with a lithium-ion battery which lasts for 6 to 8 hours. Also Read – Gum Disease Could Increase The Risk Of Covid-19 Complications: Study

Cost and availability

The final product that has come into being is being used in Sai Sneh hospital, Pune, and Lotus Multi Specialty hospital, Pune. The first batch of the product is already out. There are around 30-40 units which will be delivered as trial units to doctors and NGOs across the country. The next batch of around 100 units is also under production. Production is likely to be scaled up in May-June this year. The product costs Rs 5,499 per piece, but the manufacturers are trying to reduce the price so that it becomes affordable for all.

This post first appeared on The Health Site

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