COVID-19: 6 Major Hospitals To Get Smart OPD Protection in Mumbai
With a pandemic like COVID-19, it has been vital for healthcare workers to protect themselves sufficiently with traditional personal protective equipments (PPEs) while coming in contact with the patient or working in a COVID designated area. A few days ago we had reported on a ‘Smart COVID OPD’- designed to avoid all forms of physical contact with a patient especially when at the preliminary screening stage at a hospital.
Moneylife Foundation with the support of individual donors, has successfully helped install two such ‘Smart COVID OPDs’ at Sion Hospital and Cama & Albless Hospital, while also recently coordinating installation at JJ Hospital. In a few days, we will have these OPDs installed at K B Bhabha Hospital and St George’s Hospital once again with the support of gracious individual and family donors.
Ayu Devices, an IIT Mumbai incubated healthcare startup has designed this ‘Smart COVID OPD’ under the guidance of Dr Ranganath Jhawar, a consultant and maxillofacial surgeon at Hindu Balasaheb Thackeray (HBT) Trauma Hospital and Dr Durwesh Kadri. Dr Jhawar has worked with Ayu Devices and Sevak Trust to set up the manufacturing capability and replicate installation at multiple hospitals.
This OPD essentially has two sealed transparent cubicles – one for the patient, while the other for the doctor. The patient side is equipped with three basic medical instruments – the pulse oximeter, a digital stethoscope and an infrared thermometer. The doctor from their sealed off portion of the OPD, can direct a patient in the use of these basic instruments and has remote access to the readings via Bluetooth on an app installed on their smartphones.
A pulse oximeter can help the doctor examine the pulse and levels of oxygen content in a patient’s body, while the infrared thermometer is useful to check body temperatures without having physical contact with the body. The digital stethoscope provided on the patient’s side is a uniquely designed ‘AyuSynk’ device, which the patient only has to place their chest for the doctor to hear breathing sounds on an app in their smartphones.
The doctor can also make use of the built in extension gloves from their side of the OPD to either examine the patient physically or even take fluid swabs for the purposes of testing COVID-19 infection. At the end of an examination, after the patient has exited their portion of the OPD, the doctor can sanitise the area and the instruments with the simple press of a button. The doctors at Sion Hospital have recorded a short walk-through video showcasing the operability of this OPD as shown below:
These features of the ‘Smart COVID OPD’ while not far advanced too undertake detailed physical examination of a patient are more than sufficient to inspect a patient displaying symptoms of COVID-19. With such a system installed at large hospitals, it essentially minimises the chance of cross contamination between doctor and patient, while also drastically increasing the rate of mass screenings.
This is not only an important addition to doctors’ safety but, as Dr Tushar Palve, superintendent in-charge of Cama Hospital tells us, “it also saves on the use of PPE sets”. Prof (Dr) Aparna Hegde, at Cama Hospital, who also runs an NGO called Armman, finds it “immensely useful in screening patients”. Even the Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) of Maharashtra, who tweeted about our effort has stated the importance of having these OPDs installed at hospitals.
We are at a critical stage with the COVID-19 pandemic, where mass screenings are soon becoming a necessity to document the rate at which the virus has been spreading in the country. With a ‘Smart COVID OPD’ our healthcare workers can continue to work tirelessly screening patients for COVID infections while staying safe themselves. Moneylife Foundation with the support of more donors is hoping to facilitate installation of such devices at more hospitals across Mumbai.