Pakistani scientists at Aga Khan University (AKU) in Karachi have developed a portable ventilator that received a US patent, the university revealed on Wednesday.
Called the ‘Resuscitation Automation Device’ (RAD), the ventilator can provide emergency oxygen to patients with either severe forms of pneumonia or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which are among the main causes of death in the country.
AKU said in a statement that “the patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office recognizes over 20 innovative aspects of the University’s Resuscitation Automation Device, RAD, that can offer prompter, lifesaving treatment for patients suffering from critical respiratory problems”.
Doctors and researchers at AKU started developing the RAD in 2016. It is briefcase-sized and portable, unlike similar devices that are bulky and available only at medical facilities. The RAD can be operated via a mobile application that will allow emergency room doctors to remotely manage its settings.
“The app also gives hospital staff access to real-time data about the patient’s health before his or her arrival at the emergency room enabling prompter care to be provided,” AKU said.
It added that the clinical trials on RAD will be conducted soon and that the initial tests showed that it can provide a regular supply of oxygen.
The Assistant Director at AKU’s Center of Excellence for Trauma and Emergencies, Dr. Huba Atiq, said, “In Pakistan, critically ill patients present late to health care facilities due to a lack of proper health care infrastructure. Even if they manage to reach the tertiary care facility after traveling a huge distance, the underdeveloped critical care process, lack of trained health care staff and resources, especially mechanical ventilators, results in an increased rate of critical care mortality”.
She added that “the invention of a low-cost, operator-friendly, mechanical ventilator represents a solution to bridge this gap and provide timely appropriate critical care services”.