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IIT-Backed Startup Makes Portable, Foldable COVID-19 Hospital In Kerala

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Ananya Jain
Ananya JainUpdated on Aug 21, 2020, 16:00 IST

India is struggling as a nation to combat against the exhausting medical supplies and frontline warriors but it's also finding ways to curb the spread. Amid the surge in the coronavirus cases, city-based Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology and Modulus Housing, a startup incubated at IIT Madras, have jointly developed a technology for setting up portable and deployable hospitals for COVID-19 management.

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This is claimed to be a first such initiative in the country.

As a pilot project, a 16-bedded hospital has been set up at Varadoor in the remote Wayanad district of Kerala and a 30-bed unit at Chennai's Sugah hospital.

A 100-bed facility will soon come up in Karnataka, N N Subhash, Scientist Engineer of the BiomedicalEngineering wing of the SCTIMST, told PTI.

"The model is a collapsible cabin which when folded can be transported easily. A hospital of 1600 square feet can be folded and transported in just one trailer," he said.

SCTIMST, an institution of National importance under the Department of Science and Technology, and Modulus, signed an MOU for developing the four zone deployable field hospital structures which can be assembled in a few hours by four people.

The engineers of the biomedical technology wing of Sree Chitra came up with the deployable four zone strategy and design requirements of emergency hospital field units for COVID-19 management.

The design requirements for the 'negative pressure' deployable units were derived from international health facility guidelines (IHFG) and Guidelines for setting up ward and isolation facilities by the Central Health ministry.

The Engineering team also got the expert opinion from Dr Shareek PS, Infectious Diseases and Infection Control at SUT Hospital and PRS hospital before pilot installation, Dr Asha Kishore, SCTIMST Director said.

The four zone layout has facilities for doctors and nurses, suspected, positive and critical patients besides other health workers and also has ICU facilities.

"There is a pressing demand for deployable emergency response field units like field wards, ICU units, tents. among others. Collectively, these factors prompt us to work on a four zone strategy based deployable field hospital for COVID-19 management.

Also a network of such modular micro hospitals across the country can potentially become the backbone of rural health infrastructure in India post COVID-19," an Institute release said.

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Subhash said the frame is made of galvanised iron and these are metallic structures which are fire, termite and water resistant panels made of mineral-polymer composite.

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