On the first day of the national lockdown in India because of COVID-19, a small team of individuals, mostly from Auroville, gathered quickly on Slack and Whatsapp. The task was urgent but simple: create a low-cost, low-tech ventilator with parts easily available in India, such that it could be replicated and made accessible to the vast commons for emergency use. As a part of this initiative, LiGHT FiSH designed "Tusky", a low-cost, low-tech, portable, mechanised and non-invasive ventilator that has a design that cannot get any simpler.
Samvit’s machine pumps air into water which creates the pressure to keep the lungs inflated. In this water pressure concept, manual adjustments replace the need for expensive and difficult to source components. Measurements on the water tank connected to the machine provide readings to indicate the volume and pressure. The mechanical action of inflating and deflating the ambu bag is provided by a windshield wiper motor, where the speed can be regulated.
Prototypes are being medically tested by a PIMS medical bioengineer. Dr Karnam from PIMS hospital has been the key liaison the region’s healthcare sector. He points out that the innovative ventilator being developped “will be of use beyond COVID-19 because India is in need of affordable and reliable models which can be deployed in more hospitals and made accessible for home use by long-term patients.”