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India Gets Smartphone-Based Portable Oxygen Kit

An easy to handle and transport, multi-modal, smartphone-based, field-portable oxygen kit has been developed to provide a consistent and cost-effective oxygen supply to communities during situations like the recent COVID-19 pandemic, other medical emergencies, and high altitude-related problems. The device can also be used by frontline workers, paramedics, fire tenders, nurses, and doctors for oxygen support and to protect health workers from the risk of breathing in contaminated air.

The smart backpack emergency oxygen concentrator, Oxygen Plus, was designed by a Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DIPP)-recognised start-up with support from the Northeast Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology (DST). According to a press release, the product is suitable for easy transportation in the hilly terrains of the Northeast will be manufactured in that region. The patent filing is under process.

During the pandemic, the country faced an oxygen supply shortage for patients who suffered from breathlessness. Conventional oxygen support techniques for pulmonary, respiratory, and trauma patients in community outreach were time-consuming, expensive, and required sophisticated equipment and procedures. It was difficult to quickly reach them, especially in remote areas. Considering the possibility of similar situations in the future, the start-up came up with the idea to develop a field-portable smart backpack emergency kit-based oxygen refiller, which could be linked to a monitoring mobile application for COVID-19 and other emergency life support. The release added that the product is currently being validated, and the design is being improved.

Over the course of the pandemic, India, like many countries around the world, invested in the development and deployment of tech-enabled solutions to maintain business, education, and e-commerce operations. The country also created new innovative solutions to improve healthcare delivery services and enhance the speed of diagnosis. Earlier in January, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur (IIT-Jodhpur) developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model that can detect COVID-19 by examining the chest X-ray of patients. The team proposed a deep learning-based algorithm called COMiT-Net, which learns the abnormalities present in the chest X-ray images to differentiate between an affected lung and a non-affected lung. It can also identify infected regions of the lungs.

As OpenGov Asia had reported, the AI-based solution is an alternative to the regular RT PCR tests conducted across the world and can help ease the growing pressure on governments to procure testing kits and set up processing centres. Researchers from the institute have proposed a deep learning-based algorithm, COMiT-Net, which learns the abnormalities present in the chest X-ray images to differentiate between a COVID-19 affected lung and a non-COVID affected lung.

The experiment was performed with more than 2,500 chest X-ray images and achieved about 96.80% sensitivity. Since symptoms of the virus are visible on chest X-rays, it has become one of the modalities that have gained acceptance as a screening technique. The limited availability of testing kits and processing centres in remote areas has been the key motivation for researchers to find alternate testing methods that are reliable, easily accessible, and faster.


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