In a significant decision, the Modi government on Wednesday approved the procurement of 1,50,000 units of the ‘Oxycare’ system at the cost of Rs 322.5 crore. The Oxycare system is developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Oxycare units were developed by the DRDO’s Bengaluru-based Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL) for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas. The system aims to optimise the usage of oxygen based on the SpO2 reading of the patient and thus effectively increasing the utility of the oxygen cylinders.
“The intelligent configuration includes a system for automatic regulation of Oxygen through a Low Pressure Regulator, Electronic Control System and an SpO2 Probe in addition to the basic version,” the centre said.
The system comes in two variants – Manual and automatic. The Modi government has procured 1,00,000 manual and 50,000 automatic oxygen systems with non-rebreather (NRB) masks for immediate usage. The automatic system provides a suitable audio warning for various failure scenarios, including low SpO2 values and probe disconnections.
The non-rebreather masks are the face masks connected to a reservoir bag that allows a patient to intake only pure oxygen. A patient using an NRB mask is unable to inhale anything he or she exhales. A non-rebreather mask typically delivers 70 to 100% oxygen, thus increasing the consumption from a single-cylinder by 30 to 40%.
The DRDO has already transferred the technology to multiple industries in India for large-scale production of the Oxycare system. The Oxycare system developed by DRDO will lessen the workload of hospital staff by a large extent as the need for routine measurements, and manual adjustments of oxygen flow are not be needed.
Earlier on April 28, PM Modi had sanctioned the procurement of 1,00,000 portable oxygen concentrators. PM Modi had instructed that these concentrators should be procured on a war footing and sent to the states that have the highest case burden in the country.
On the same day, PM had also sanctioned 500 PSA (pressure swing absorption) oxygen plants from the PM CARES fund, in addition to 551 PSA plants that were sanctioned earlier.