October 28, 2020 | healthcare

New innovations by Omani youth in the fight against COVID-19


Muscat: From remote-controlled ventilators to air purifiers based on ultraviolet technology, Oman’s young innovators are coming up with new ideas to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Omani Youth Day, the Times of Oman spoke to young inventors in the country who have created healthcare devices that use technology to help patients suffering from the disease, and ease the burden on medical professionals tasked with their care. The remote-controlled ventilator was created thanks to the selfless efforts of Omani engineers, who worked long hours to invent this device, named Nafs 20, after the Arabic word for ‘breath’.

The remote-controlled ventilator will allow doctors to help critically ill patients breathe, but from a distance, keeping them safe.

“This will reduce the chance of medical staff being exposed to infection and saves time and effort for doctors while increasing the effectiveness of patient follow-up,” Al Walid Al Murshidi, the project engineer of Aphcarios Engineering Solutions, said.

The eight engineers behind this device say that many international companies are reportedly working towards creating these kinds of ventilators to help doctors and patients. “The device is also unique because it can mix oxygen from high and low pressure sources, on its own. This feature is only available in about five per cent of all devices available globally, but they are expensive to buy,” Al Murshidi said.

Adding to this, another engineer from the project, Suleiman Al Habsi, said, “This device is made by a team of Omani engineers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.” It will take two months to receive medical approval, after which it can be manufactured for wide-scale distribution to healthcare centres in the country.

Another version of this device has been made for use in emergency situations, such as when patients are being transported by ambulance.

“We first tested this device by using a tool that helps analyse the efficiency of artificial respirators,” said Al Murshidi. “This is the first step needed to accredit it: we received an accuracy reading of 99.7 per cent. Because the electronic components in this device are quite sensitive, we also need to send this for an electronic examination to a lab overseas. There is also a medical licence, which is observed after this undergoes medical examinations.”

“I want to thank all those who worked day and night, and on their days off, to help us with this, as well as the staff from Sohar Hospital, and Royal Hospital, for their guidance,” said Al Murshidi.

Another device being developed is Aman, an air purifier running on ultraviolet technology, and named after the Arabic word for ‘safety’. Created by Makers Oman, the device aims to purify the air of dust, viruses and harmful gases, and has a lifespan of 3,000 hours. The team consists of 11 young people in their twenties.

“The device is now under testing at Sultan Qaboos University, after achieving positive results during its first phase of evaluation at the College of Engineering,” said Suleiman Al Saqri, an operations and maintenance specialist at the company. “In collaboration with the College of Science, we will measure the devices’ purification rate against bacteria and viruses.”

Since the start of the pandemic Innotech, another Omani company, has used 3D printing technology to create 10,000 face shields, 25,000 face masks, and 10 sterlisation devices used to clean carts in Oman’s airports. The company will also deliver 40 respirators to the Ministry of Health.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company has had more than 45 volunteers working around the clock for more than 30 consecutive days, to help produce large quantities of equipment. I want to immensely thank all of them,” said Abulatif Al Mamari, the company’s marketing manager.

timesofoman

Top News



healthcare

WHO Iraq Conducts Its Community Awareness-raising Campaign to Halt Recent Surge in COVID-19 Cases in...
November 26, 2020
Restoration works completed at East Erbil Emergency Hospital and specialized services resumed for pa...
November 25, 2020
Kurdistan health minister says COVID-19 remains threat despite decline in cases
November 24, 2020