A group of Kashmir-based innovators in collaboration with Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) have developed a low-cost device that can be used instead of ventilators in providing respiratory support.

The prototype of the machine, which has been developed at Design Innovation Centre (DIC) of IUST, is successfully running in the laboratory, said the university in a statement.

“The prototype named ‘Ruhdaar’ is expected to be handed over to medical experts in SKIMS for evaluation, which will immediately begin once the innovators are satisfied with its functioning in the laboratory,” it said.

“The prototype ventilator is very cheap in comparison to what is available in the market. While the prototype is working successfully in the laboratory, it eventually will be assessed by the medical experts who will have to use it. Once the prototype is approved by medical experts, there is a possibility of manufacturing it for commercial use,” it adds.

At present, Kashmir has a total of 132 ventilators, which is not enough for an emergency like Covid-19. SKIMS has received from a philanthropy organisation, ‘Athrout’, a few ventilators.

The incorporation of the ‘Roohdar’ machine in J&K’s health care system is expected to save lives as well as prevent expenses on import of ventilators. The raw materials used for making the machine are available within J&K and India, which means the model can be replicated across the country.

The project was led to fruition by a team that was headed by Coordinator DIC Dr Shahkar Nehvi. The team included Dr Majid Hamid Koul, ex-faculty

IUST who has recently joined NIT Srinagar, Peerzada Shoaib, Assistant Prof IUST, two IUST alumini Asif Shah and Zulquarnain, Dr Saad Parvaiz from NIT Srinagar, and Dr Shabir Hassan from Harvard University as overseas mentor. Kashmiri businessman and philanthropist Abdul Rahim, owner of Rahim Greens, provided financial support.

Vice Chancellor IUST Prof Mushtaq A Siddiqi said the university will apply for a patent for the technology.

Siddiqi, who is himself an eminent immunologist, expressed satisfaction with the prototype, which he said is flexible enough to be modified according to specifications provided by doctors.

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