Polish Startup Shares Technology With India, Paves Way For Affordable Ventilators


AM Chronicle Editor

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A Polish research startup, Ventilade.org is sharing its open-source software to build ventilators by 3D printing at a fraction of the cost of a regular machine, which, says the Polish envoy to India.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global crisis, the virus will have to be defeated everywhere, said Adam Burakowski, Poland’s ambassador to India, who made news when he put out a video in Hindi, thanking the ‘Indian Medical Service’.

Speaking to TOI, Burakowski said, “I consider the work of the Indian medical service to be very important. So I felt I needed to praise them for their commitment. India is a huge country and these healthcare workers are in the frontline and doing an outstanding job.”

Poland and India, he said, would be cooperating on countering the coronavirus, and this featured in a conversation between foreign minister S Jaishankar and his Polish counterpart, Jacek Czaputowicz recently.

“We’re glad that the Indian government has opened paracetamol exports. We would like to access both hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and paracetamol from India,” Burakowski said. Poland, he said, has evacuated almost 900 of its nationals from India, by using Polish airlines, LOT to fly them out in three separate flights. “We also flew out citizens of Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Germany among others.”

Meanwhile, the first Indian company to use the software of Ventilade to produce ventilators is Bengaluru-based Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) which is awaiting clearances for its in-house design using this software. The company tweeted, “RWF has developed in-house prototype #CheapVentilator based on #OpenSource design #VENTILAID, using mainly 3D printed parts. Next phase of development includes incorporation of micro controller. After inhouse review by RWF Doctors, approval of Competent Agency will be sought.”

Burakowski said, the design is such that what cannot be printed can be available locally, which gives a lot of leeway to improvisation. The cost is as low as $45.

Poland, he said, is planning to send medical teams to the US, after sending teams to Italy, which was one of the worst affected. “The medicians come from the Military Medical Institute of Poland and from the Polish Center of International aid.”

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