Project Praana: novel low-cost ventilator technology development

Team Lead: Gaurab Banerjee, Duvvuri Subrahmanyam, Pratikash Panda, T. V. Prabhakar
Email: project.praana.20@gmail.com

Project Praana (Sanskrit/Kannada for “breath/life”) is a voluntary prototype ventilator design effort run by a group of engineers primarily associated with IISc. The project was spurred by the escalating COVID-19 crisis towards the end of March 2020. To overcome severe constraints on the international supply chains and costs, the Project Praana group came up with an entirely new design for a ventilator that only involves components that are made (or easily available) in India, and yet meets the key functionality requirements of a full-fleged medical ventilator. Several brain-storming sessions led to the final design iteration, one that contains no mechanical moving parts and goes well beyond being just a stop-gap solution for COVID-19.

On May 29, 2020, the team successfully completed the prototyping of a hospital-grade ventilator. Built using a custom designed pneumatic system controlled by a microprocessor, it uses proprietary algorithms and techniques to blend air and oxygen in the desired ratio. It also has fine-grained control of patient-side respiratory parameters such as respiration rate, inspiration to expiration ratio, FiO2, and PEEP. It supports both invasive and non-invasive ventilation. 

The prototype uses only components made in India or easily available in the domestic supply chains. The team took about 35 days to go from the drawing board to a proof-of-concept system, and then a working prototype in another two weeks. The successful development and demonstration of the prototype formally brings the project to a close. The project core team is now actively exploring options to collaborate with an industry partner to further co-develop the prototype into a field-ready product.

The project received internal support from IISc, external funding from the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India, and a CSR contribution from the State Bank of India Foundation. Narayana Health, Bengaluru, provided medical testing equipment for verification of the ventilator performance.


Project Praana Team

FOUNDERS

  • Dr. Gaurab Banerjee  
  • Dr. Duvvuri Subrahmanyam  
  • Dr. T. V. Prabhakar 
  • Dr. Pratikash Panda  
  • Dr. H S Jamadagni
  • Manas Pradhan

MEDICAL ADVISORS

  • Dr. Supreet Khare  
  • Dr. Sriram Sampath 
  • Dr. Krishna Prasad

PNEUMATICS

  • Dr. Duvvuri Subrahmanyam 
  • Dr. Pratikash Panda
  • Shiva Shankar B. M. 
  • Shanta Kumar N.

SENSORS

  • Dr. Navakanta Bhat 
  • Dr. M. M. Nayak 
  • Veera Pandi N.
  • Dr. C. Shekhar Prajapati

CONTROLS / PROGRAMMING

  • Pushtivardhan Soni 
  • Prajwal B. N. 
  • Abhishek S. V.
  • Dr. Pratikash Panda 
  • Dr. Duvvuri Subrahmanyam

OUTREACH 

  • Dr. G. S. Javed 
  • Dr. Vishal Khatri

SYSTEM INTEGRATION

  • Dr. Duvvuri Subrahmanyam  
  • Dr. Pratikash Panda  
  • Dr. Gaurab Banerjee

ELECTRONICS

  • Dr. T. V. Prabhakar  
  • Dr. Gaurab Banerjee   
  • Dr. H. S. Jamadagni

MEDICAL DESIGN STANDARDS 

  • Dr. Manish Arora  
  • Dr. G. S. Javed 
  • Komal Shah  
  • Sanketh

PRODUCTIZATION & INDUSTRY CONNECT 

  • Gururaj Nayak  
  • Ambarish Saungikar 
  • Abhishek Sharma

SUPPLY CHAIN & LOGISTICS 

  • Gururaj Nayak  
  • Lalit Sawale 
  • Harish Kumar G. T.

USER INTERFACE DESIGN

  • Manas Pradhan  
  • Suchismita Banerjee  
  • Dr. Supreet Khare 
  • Pushtivardhan Soni  
  • Pooja Rao


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