DRDO’s Oxygen Delivery System, a boon in Covid-19 pandemic


DRDO developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System can prove very beneficial for Covid-19 patients (Pic: Courtesy PIB)

The Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas. As the system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels preventing a person from sinking in to a state of Hypoxia, this automatic technique can prove to very useful during the current pandemic Covid-19 situation.

It has been developed by DRDO’s Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL).

In medical terms, hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfil all the energy requirements of the body. A Covid-19 patient faces exactly this situation due to the virus infection, and this has been a primary concern in the present crisis.

The electronic hardware of the system is designed for functioning at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures and humidity. The software safety checks incorporated into the system are critical in ensuring the functional reliability of the system in field conditions.

SPOC Electronic Control System (Pic: Courtesy PIB)

The system reads SpO2 levels of the subject from a wrist-worn pulse oximeter module through wireless interface and controls a proportional solenoid valve to regulate the oxygen supply to the subject. The oxygen is delivered from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder through nasal nares.

The system is available in various sizes to suit one’s needs. It is available from one litre and one kg weight with 150 litres of oxygen supply to 10 litres and 10 kg weight with 1,500 litres of oxygen supply which can sustain for 750 minutes with a continuous flow of two litres per min (lpm).

The indigenously developed system for operation in field conditions is unique for its dual qualities of being robust and cheap and is already in bulk production with the industry.

The system can be used in the household for moderate Covid patients for oxygen flow therapy with flow controlled at 2/5/7/10 lpm flow. The automatic usage has huge advantage in the household, as the oximeter would give an alarm for lower SpO2 value. It will automatically increase/decrease the O2 flow based on SpO2 setting which can be auto adjusted at 2, 5, 7, 10 lpm flow rate. The optimal O2 flow rate conserves the O2 resources/O2 management and greatly increases the endurance.

The Oxygen Regulator System (Pic: Courtesy PIB)

As it is abundantly available and is simple to use even by a common man, the facility shall greatly reduce the workload and exposure time of doctors and paramedics to monitor the SpO2 levels of the patient.

With medical resources stretched to its limits, this automated, easy to use Oxygen Delivery System is indeed a great boon.

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