An indigenously designed oxygen concentrator, which ensures high-purity oxygen supply, is now out in the market. An Indian startup has designed developed this affordable portable oxygen concentrator and is now manufacturing it for supply to various hospitals in the country.
Oxygen saturation levels of patients have been a major challenge in the treatment of COVID 19, especially in the second wave. Indian medical devices manufacturers and indigenous automation companies took this challenge up and came up with innovative designs of ventilators, portable respiratory aids, and related devices.
Mohali-based Walnut Medical has developed a 5L and 10L portable medical grade oxygen concentrators based on Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology in India with an oxygen purity of above 96% at a pressure of 55-75 kpa. Pressure swing adsorption technology separates single gases from a gas mixture. PSA is a non-cryogenic air separation (near ambient temperature separation processes) process that is commonly used in commercial practice. These two parameters are most critical for patients suffering from COVID or other respiratory problems.
The company was supported by CAWACH 2020 grant of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and they developed the world-class Oxygen Concentrator within a short time to reduce dependence on imports.
“There have been three important things DST focused on while planning and supporting the development of products and technologies for COVID-19 – defining the future needs with clarity, encouraging better than the world class quality through innovation, and speed. Thus, the development of Oxygen concentrators was already envisaged during the first wave, which became critical during the second wave and several more companies are now being shortlisted and supported under the CAWACH 2021,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.
Walnut Medical Oxygen Concentrator is tested for patient safety, electrical safety, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and as per International Safety Standards for Oxygen Concentrators.
The complete mould design, development of all electronics, moulding, control system, sieve tower, and all related parts and accessories has been done in India. It is currently being supplied to various government, defense, military hospitals in India and is also making them available for the general public through its distribution network across India.
DST’s support helped them push their endeavor forward with 5Ltr and 10Ltr models and invest in quality moulds to compete against products from Japan, USA, and China. IIT Delhi incubation team worked with them to help the technology see the light of the day.
By Tapas Bhattacharya