They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and that is true. The COVID-19 challenge has been immense for everyone across the globe. Everyday we wake up to new challenges that create “new normals”. Different stakeholders and individuals in the world have invested their time, resources and energy in finding solutions to contain the spread of the virus. This write-up highlights our journey in partnership with our startups in the fight against COVID-19. A journey that has been challenging but the outcome is indeed rewarding.
Our first Milestone was in mid-March when Ebin Ephrem Elavathingal, senior manager of AIC RAISE; Hari Vigneshwaran, founder of Augment 3Di; and Vigneshwaran S, founder of Virtual Frontier Robotics designed 3D-printed face shields.
The shield covers the entire face and can be reused after cleaning with soap. The design is open sourced and anyone can now use it free of charge to manufacture the shields. Prior to this, it was quite difficult to prevent contact with stray particles that float in the air especially if someone sneezes or coughs around us. The face shields come in handy as they are able to serve this purpose efficiently. The first beneficiaries of this invention are front-line health and office workers. This workers interact with a lot of people in a single day. Security personal and open market businessmen have also found the shields very useful. Find out more about the 3D printed face shields here.
In the same month, Timple Lulu, the MD to Fugle Pharma, a start-up that specializes in manufacturing a wide range of products such as Oils, Cosmetics from natural ingredients partnered with AIC RAISE to make and teach the public on how to make Natural Homemade Hand Sanitizers from home. The hand sanitizer is made from natural materials that are readily available. the sanitiser has zero effects on your skin and reduces the cost of sanitation immensely at a time when everyone is selling them at very high prices. Immediately after the spread of Covid-19 became viral, the price of hand sanitizers shot to almost four times the prior retailing prizes and has not decreased ever since. Equipping people with the skills and knowledge of making their own homemade sanitizers saves them a lot of bucks that otherwise would be spent in the purchase of the commercial sanitizers. This product comes in at a time when it is needed most.Catch up with the demo on how you can make yours at the comfort of your home from here.
Prior to the Covid-19 Error the need for ventilators wasn’t very high and therefore the difference between the demand and supply was minimal in the hospitals. When Covid-19 set in, estimates show that about 6% of people who have the virus get critically sick. Of this about 1 in 4 may need a ventilator to help them breathe. This number varies from place to place and with different times. The result of the change is that there is a strain in the available ventilators as they can not meet the demand posed by the pandemic. At the onset of April, the Intermittent Positive Pressure Breathing Ventilator (IPPV) was developed by JK Data Systems, (a start-up incubated by AIC, started by students of Rathinam Group of Institution at the Atal Incubation Centre). Its purpose is to supply for the increased demand of ventilators. The IPPV works on the same principle as previously designed ventilators but comes at a relatively cheaper price. The ventilator can be used in an emergency situation. Since then it is also being upgraded to suit it for use in ICUs across the country and beyond borders. Read more about the costing and use of the ventilator here.
A few weeks later SR Engineering startup, developed a hands free Automated Mask dispenser shown on the left. The greatest spread of Covid-19 is as a result of contact with people who have the virus or touching things they have touched. This automatic hands free dispenser helps introduce a contact-less distribution of masks and sanitizers hence eliminating human contact.
Have you ever thought of a virus free environment? Well, the Backyard Creators came up with a Cheap Cleaner that discloses a Fast, Affordable, Convenient and Innovative Way to Eliminate Viruses and Germs. The machine cleans both surface and Air Medium and even the hardest-to-reach places on Hospitals, Airplane, Trains, Etc. The cleaner is controlled by remote users and is specially customized for killing viruses and Germs. So far the cleaning robot result shows 99% effectiveness of Killing viruses.The machine is Integrated with Multiple Sensor and Actuators.The product is also customized for hospital operation theaters. The bot comes in handy for cleaning and sanitization of all office and home devices. From handheld devices such as mobile phones to large surfaces such as seats and tables in public places, beds in hospitals and even air mediums; there is simply nowhere the bots can’t reach and nothing they can’t sanitize.
Now to my favorite of them all. And this is my favorite because it features AI technology; a field that I am personally interested in. You can choose your own favorite from the whole list.
Fixedo came up with this fantastic wearable Diagnostic Tool that is a non-invasive sensor matrix. The device can be modelled in any form factor such as a smart watch, band, glove or a standalone device (like a sprocket printer). It allows the simultaneous measurement of various health parameters of a user through touch. The Wearable Device is used to identify the symptoms of Covid-19. This device can be used both as a DIY to measure the parameter of the user or as a third-party device wherein one user measures the vitals of another user. The device can measure over 10 different parameters including Temperature, SpO2, Wheezing, Cardiac Murmurs, Haemoglobin, Fetal Heart Rate and Pregnancy contractions. The greatest advantage of this machine is its wide range of usability hence saving lots of costs in buying different machinery and lots of time for installing and using the different devices. It’s a one size fits all kind of device.
A few weeks later AspireFactory, another Startup at AIC Raise, developed the world’s most cost-effective sanitisation chamber shown above. The chamber works in a similar way as any fumigation chamber but this time round it is not heat but UV based. Anything can be thrown into the chamber for sanitisation. The chamber uses UVC light to clean the pathogens in handbags, laptop bags and packaged food. It is best suited for use at airports, offices and even malls where people come in with their belongings in bags that require sanitization before access. The cost of the devices varies from INR 1700 to INR 6000. There are also retrofit kits where household products can be retrofitted with the kits and converted and used as UVC sanitisation chambers. The time required to sterilise the items vary from 5 minutes to 22 minutes. Find out more about the cost effective Sanitizer here.
Now think of how hard it is to clean a hospital especially with so many people coming in for diagnosis and treatment. Now extrapolate the challenge to any place where people gather frequently. In as much as human agents may be employed to sanitize and clean these places there is a greater likelihood that they won’t be efficient. While humans do it we still pose a risk to their health in that they might contract the disease. The best news is that in the month of June, Solavio designed a ‘UV Bot’ for indoor bacteria and virus prevention. The machine (shown below) is equipped with cutting-edge Autonomous AI technology along with state-of-the-art UV sterilization lamps/LEDs. The main features and advantages of these bots is that they deliver UV-C dose efficiently,they are safe, reliable and eliminates human error. They prevent and reduce spread of infectious diseases, viruses, bacteria etc. They are similar to regular cleaning cycles and they are designed for efficiency and comfort in the working environment. The bots are very user friendly. Read more about the UV Sanitisation bots here and here.
The last but definitely not the least on our list is Mask Upcycling by growbags a product of Peppa products. With the present compulsory use of masks by everyone there is a great number of masks that are disposed of as waste. The company reuses/ recycles the used masks to create grow bags that then can be used for different purposes. Talk of efficient waste management!
Indeed the journey has been an exciting one! Step by step we soldier on hoping that one day we will find a long lasting solution to help curb the spread of COVID-19 once and for all. Until then we will keep innovating. Cheers!!!