Pakistani AI Company Develops Portable Ventilator to Combat COVID-19
In order to cope with the shortage of ventilators in the country, the Government of Pakistan has taken rapid efforts to bring together all the relevant public and private companies and technology product companies on one platform, who are instructed to present designs and models of ventilators.
Following these guidelines, many companies have submitted designs and models of their own ventilators, which will be approved by a government-created committee after testing, in accordance with the prescribed criteria. After which preparation work will begin.
“Poulta”, a Pakistani startup of Artificial Intelligence (AI), has also quickly developed a ventilator that has been introduced to the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) and Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).
Ali Murtaza Solangi, founder and CEO of Poulta, said in an interview that although his company is not a ventilator company, it is a technology and AI company focused on improving the poultry farming industry. However, with the help of his team, he developed a smart and portable ventilator that can be monitored centrally, after making some tweaks in the existing systems and setups.
He said the problems for ordinary ventilators are who runs them? How to operate them? and people need to be trained to operate them. However, at this time it is not possible to have all of these resources immediately available in the emergency situation of the coronavirus. Therefore, they have developed a smart and portable ventilator that will be connected to a single center of many ventilators via the Internet, and with an automated system installed, the physician at any location can directly monitor the condition of any patient and take care of them accordingly.
He said that currently there is a shortage of ventilators worldwide and in Pakistan may not be able to get them immediately from other countries. If they are ordered from overseas, such ventilators cost from $10,000 to $12,000, while they have manufactured the same quality and similar ventilators for only $2200.
Referring to the characteristics of the ventilator he developed, he said that the ventilator provides patients with oxygen, heart rate per minute, carbon dioxide emissions, body temperature, blood pressure information on the web. And relevant doctors or staff from any location will be able to see this information and take care of the patient accordingly.
He said that the design and model of this ventilator have been submitted to the Pakistan Engineering Council and Disaster Management and if the team of experts approved their model, they would produce 500 to 1000 ventilators in just five weeks.
Rapid rise in COVID-19 cases: Ventilators’ shortage can potentially pose a serious challenge to government
With the number of COVID-19 patients on the rapid rise in Pakistan coupled with increasing mortality rate, the shortage of ventilators can potentially pose a serious challenge to the government as more patients are likely to be put on ventilators to save their lives in the days to come.
The number of coronavirus fatalities in Pakistan recorded at 21 with 1,664 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, till Monday evening. In Islamabad, the number of coronavirus patients doubled in less than a week, jumping from 25 to 51. In Punjab, the coronavirus cases tally surpassed 638, followed by 508 cases in Sindh, 192 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 141 in Balochistan and 134 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir/Gilgit Baltistan.
Presently, Pakistan has over 22,00 ventilators including over 1,300 in Punjab, more than 500 in Sindh, over 150 in KP, over 50 in Balochistan and over 50 in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Last week, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal told media that Pakistan aimed to acquire 10,000 ventilators in the coming months to battle COVID-19. However, presently only 20 ventilators are in the process of being delivered to Pakistan, government sources said.