GPS to prevent misuse of ventilators

Written By: / Friday, 07 August 2020 18:30

IT Correspondent
New Delhi, Aug. 7:

With a view to prevent misuse of ventilators the Union Health Ministry has created a dashboard for tracking the real-time status of ventilators dispatched, delivered, and installed and the indigenously manufactured ventilators are being embedded with Global Positioning System (GPS) chips to track if their locations in hospitals change as part of efforts to prevent their misuse.  
“We can track the location of each of these devices as each ventilator is geo-tagged. We will get to know in real-time if a ventilator is changing location,” Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan  said and added that the government has constituted an empowered group to address issues and encourage the domestic industry to manufacture ventilators and ramp up their production.
Based on expert projections in March, the health ministry decided to procure about 60,000 ventilators for Covid-19 patients. About 18,000 ventilators have been so far supplied to states, central government hospitals, and Defence Research Development Organisation facilities. They have been installed in at least 700 hospitals across the country. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) rolled out the first locally-made ventilator on 30 May 2020.
The health ministry has ordered 60,000 ventilators, of which 57600 are indigenous (as against 8500 machines in 2019).  This is a distinct shift from the pre-COVID days, when most of the ventilators were imported. Now with the government push, the prices of machines have dropped from Rs 10 lakh to Rs.20 lakh (imported) to Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 4 lakh per unit(Indian supplies).
Major domestic players include Skanray (in collaboration with Bharat Electronics Limited), AgVa (in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki Limited) and AP Medtech Zone and Allied Medical. Public sector BEL has manufactured 30,000 ventilators and Andhra Med-Tech Zone 13,500.
The indigenous ventilators, are being funded by PM CARES Fund which comes to about Rs 2,000 crore in monetary terms,” Bhushan said and added that “The Make in India [indigenous] ventilators have a share of more than 96% by volume and more than 90% by value.”
Just about 0.27% of total active Covid-19 cases are on a ventilator across the country, according to government data. “At any given time, not more than 1% of patients are sick enough to need ventilator support,” said Bhushan.
The ministry’s technical expert committee has come up with minimum essential specifications for the basic ventilators manufactured in India. All the procurements are made based on the committee’s recommendations.
A critical care expert at a prominent government hospital said a ventilator is a complex machine with several features meant to perform specific functions. “It is not only about pumping in the air. There is much more to this machine.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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