PM CARES Fund has sanctioned the procurement of 1.5 lakh units of ‘Oxycare’ system developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at a cost of Rs 322.5 crore. Oxycare is a SpO2-based oxygen supply system, which regulates the oxygen being administered to patients based on the sensed SpO2 levels. Under this sanction, one lakh manual and 50,000 automatic Oxycare systems along with non-rebreather masks are being procured.
The Oxycare system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking into a state of hypoxia, which can be fatal. This system was developed by Defence Bio-Engineering & Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas. The system is indigenously developed for operation in field conditions and is “robust”. It can be ‘effectively” used to treat Covid-19 patients, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
Two variants of the system have been configured. The basic version consists of a 10-litre oxygen cylinder, a pressure regulator-cum-flow controller, a humidifier and a nasal cannula. The oxygen flow is regulated manually based on the SpO2 readings. In the second configuration, the oxygen cylinder is equipped with electronic controls which automatically regulate the oxygen flow through a low-pressure regulator and a SpO2 probe.
The SpO2-based Oxygen Supply System “optimizes” the consumption of oxygen based on the SpO2 reading of the patient and “effectively” increases the endurance of portable oxygen cylinder. The threshold SpO2 value for initiating flow from the system can be adjusted by the health staff. A display is provided for continuously monitoring the SpO2 levels. Workload and exposure of healthcare providers are considerably reduced by eliminating the need for routine measurements and manual adjustments of oxygen flow, MoD said.
The automatic system also provides “suitable” audio warning for various failure scenarios, including low SpO2 values and probe disconnections. The non-rebreather masks are integrated with the Oxycare Systems for “efficient” use of oxygen, which results in the saving of Oxygen by 30-40%. The non-rebreather masks need to be changed for every patient. These Oxycare systems can be used at homes, Quarantine Centres, Covid Care Centres and hospitals.
The DRDO has transferred the technology to multiple industries, in India which will be producing the Oxycare systems.