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Coronavirus impact: Ashok Leyland develops first-mile ventilator

Team OD  | Updated: May 04, 2020, 08:10 PM IST

Commercial vehicle maker, Ashok Leyland, has been working with the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu to work with and support Ventilator Makers and help them improve the supply chain and output capacity. Uniquely, the company has been focussing on the full range of requirements in breathing assistance for COVID-19 patients.

This has led Ashok Leyland to focus on first mile, mid-range and high-end ICU ventilators required for patients at different stages of disease progression. The company has focussed heavily on first-mile ventilation, after consultations with various clinical experts and intensivists. A team of 50 Ashok Leyland engineers have now readied a low-cost ventilator, but with all the essential features to aid first-mile ventilation including the necessary sensors and controllers for volume and pressure monitoring, and safeguards. The ventilator development has been completed. Testing, certification and clinical trials will be completed in the next few weeks, with mass manufacture of this system starting in May 2020.

In the mid-range and high-end ICU ventilator segments, Ashok Leyland is working with two Chennai-based ventilator manufacturers: Kriti Kare India, a manufacturer of the ACUvent ventilators since 2014 and Phoenix Medical Systems, a 30-year-old firm who are market leaders in infant, maternal care products, and assistive devices. Under this arrangement, Ashok Leyland is offering help with component sourcing, supply chain, logistics, manpower for production planning and in-line quality which will help both ventilator manufacturers to ramp up production quickly.

Through its wide national footprint and digital platforms, Ashok Leyland is providing GenSets, operating community kitchens, and providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), masks and vehicles for sanitation of streets and campuses. The company has also been assisting numerous people adversely affected by the lockdown, including truck drivers, migrant workers, the underprivileged and daily wage earners.

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