Concept: India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has begun offering hospitals combating the current COVID-19 situation with SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) Supplemental Oxygen Delivery System, an automatic system which is developed for Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas by Defence Bioengineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), a division of DRDO. This product comes in the form of a Medical Oxygen Plant (MOP), which is a spin-off technology from the Tejas’ Onboard Oxygen (OBOX) generation system.

Nature of Disruption: The system observes SpOlevels of patients using the pulse oximeter worn on their wrists through wireless configuration. It controls the proportional solenoid valve to regulate the oxygen levels. Using nasal nares, the oxygen is delivered from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder. The system helps hospitals avoid situations of hypoxia, where tissues in a patient’s body do not receive an adequate amount of oxygen to meet the energy requirements of the body. The same situation happens to a COVID-19-positive patient because of the virus infection. The automated system is ideal for use in the household to monitor and change the flow of oxygen for COVID-19-positive patients with the controlled flow at 2/5/7/10 lpm flow. When the oximeter detects lower SpOlevels, it gives an alarm, and the system automatically increases oxygen flow based on SpOsetting. This optimal usage conserves oxygen resources and increases the patient’s ability to fight the disease.

Outlook: DRDO’s easy-to-use automated oxygen delivery system can prove to be a blessing in such a grim situation where medical resources are overburdened. The system is easily accessible to healthcare providers and can reduce the workload of medical staff to monitor the oxygen levels of the patient. With an automatic flow control system in place, the usage of oxygen supply can be optimized thus saving more lives in the process. The system would help hospitals alleviate the exigency in managing a huge number of COVID-19 patients nationwide.

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