Amrita Hospitals and AMMACHI Labs Develop India’s Most Cost-effective PAPR kits for Frontline Healthcare Worker
These Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) kits are superior to regular PPEs being low cost, low weight and having higher flow. A usability study with 20 PAPR kits is underway
June 1st, 2021: In what could be termed as the first-ever made in India, Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) kits, doctors at Amrita Hospitals in collaboration with AMMACHI Labs, the academic and research centre at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, have designed and developed extremely affordable kits for frontline workers right from the scratch. This is also another step they have endeavored to take towards realizing the dream of Atmanirbhar Bharat in the healthcare sector.
Till very recently, all the PAPRs in the country were imported at a price of over Rs. 1 lakh each. With the problem becoming acute during the pandemic, the availability of protection equipment became scarce. Amrita Hospitals and AMMACHI Labs launched the product jointly in January this year. PAPR, a protection equipment technology used for supplying purified air to medical professionals working in infection-prone areas such as COVID wards, are extremely valuable in preventing healthcare workers from contracting infection and disease from the aerosolized virus
Dr Bhavani Rao R., Director, AMMACHI Labs who is overseeing the entire project, said, “PAPRs have been inspired by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi or Amma’s vision and guidance encouraging teams at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to convert the challenges of the pandemic into several world-class innovations. The product has been developed by the initiative and ingenuity of scientists, doctors, and engineers from several Amrita institutions coming together for one single cause – dealing with the pandemic with cutting edge and social innovations. PAPRs have the potential to help people not just in the medical field but from all walks of life, thereby creating a tangible impact on society. Once all the feedback and design improvements have been incorporated, our PAPRs will be productized and marketed by Omnex Inc. Unlike commercial PAPRs costing anywhere between Rs. 70,000 – Rs. 1,50,000, our PAPR will cost less than Rs. 30,000 per kit.”
Omnex Inc., an international consulting, training and software development organization that specialises in managing system solutions that elevate the performance of client organisations. Commenting on the product roll-out strategies, Arun Kumar, Vice President, Omnex Global said, “Omnex Inc. has planned a usability study with 20 PAPRs by medical professionals at AIMS. Based on the feedback from medical professionals, the product will be fine-tuned and scaled up for production. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Omnex Inc. will also be applying for certifications for the PAPR product. Currently, work is in progress for gathering data for pre-certification testing requirements for NIOSH approval for US markets. We are also exploring requirements for field testing in an accredited lab of NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories).” Amrita PAPR for medical professionals uses an H14 grade HEPA filter with more than 99.995 percent and not only weighs less at 1.4 kg, but the airflow is also more at > 10 CFM, it is less noisy as motor/blower operational noise – ≤ 68 dBA at ear and the battery pack lasts about 10-14 hours. In comparison 3M PAPR weighs 1.78 kg the airflow is slower at High Flow Nominal of 8 CFM, operating the motor is noisier at ≤ 75 dBA at ear and the battery lasts for less amount of time approximately 7-19 hours (TR-630 7-12.5 hours; TR632 10.5-19 hours). The lower noise of the battery makes communication easier.
About Amrita Hospital
Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (Amrita Hospital), based in Kochi, is one of the premier hospitals in South Asia. Founded in 1998 by Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (known worldwide as AMMA), it offers a full range of primary and specialty care medical services. AMMA’s vision of providing advanced medical care to the poor and disadvantaged was the inspiration for Amrita Hospital, which today is an 1100-bed (490 units) tertiary referral and teaching hospital, serving more than 10 lakh outpatients and more than 70,000 inpatients annually.
The massive healthcare infrastructure with over 3.33 million sq. ft. of built-up area, spread over 125 acres of land, supports a daily patient volume of approximately 3500 outpatients with 95 per cent inpatient occupancy. There are 12 super speciality departments, 45 other departments, 4500 support staff, and 670 faculty members. The hospital’s extensive infrastructure offers facilities comprising 28 modern operating theatres, 275 equipped intensive-care beds, a fully computerized and networked Hospital Information System (HIS), a fully digital radiology department, 17 NABL accredited clinical laboratories, and 24/7 telemedicine service.
In 2015, South Asia’s first-ever Bilateral Hand Transplant Surgery was done at Amrita Hospital. The same year, Amrita Hospital won the British Medical Journal Award for the Best Surgical Team in South Asia. The Amrita team won the award for its two successful double hand transplants, the first and the second bilateral hand transplants in this region.