The Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) kits launched are used by medical professionals working in infection-prone areas such as Covid-19 wards to prevent themselves from contracting the infection and disease from the aerosolized virus particles.
“PAPRs are generally safer, more comfortable to use, and reusable as compared to normal PPEs with N95 masks. Amrita Hospitals and AMMACHI Labs jointly developed and launched the product in January this year. A usability study with 20 PAPR kits is currently underway,” informed the release.
The kits facilitate the supply of purified air, however, they are costly for purchase, as they were imported at a price of over one lakh each, the hospital indicated that the development of these PAPR Kits, aims to provide it at affordable prices and meets the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) standards.
Dr. Bhavani Rao R., Director, AMMACHI Labs commenting on the product development said, “PAPRs have the potential to help people not just in the medical field but from all walks of life, thereby creating a tangible impact on society. Once all the feedback and design improvements have been incorporated, our PAPRs will be productized and marketed by Omnex Inc. Unlike commercial PAPRs costing anywhere between Rs. 70,000 – Rs. 1,50,000, our PAPR will cost less than Rs. 30,000 per kit.”
Further highlighting the feature of the Amrita PAPR for medical professionals, the release informed that they use an H14 grade HEPA filter with more than 99.995 percent and it weighs less at 1.4 kg, but the airflow is maintained at > 10 CFM, it is less noisy as motor/blower operational noise – ≤ 68 dBA at ear and the battery pack lasts about 10-14 hours. In comparison 3M PAPR weighs 1.78 kg the airflow is slower at a high flow nominal of 8 CFM, operating the motor is noisier at ≤ 75 dBA at ear and the battery lasts for less amount of time approximately 7-19 hours (TR-630 7-12.5 hours; TR632 10.5-19 hours). The lower noise of the battery makes communication easier.
Commenting on the product roll-out strategies, Arun Kumar, Vice President, Omnex Global said, “Omnex Inc. has planned a usability study with 20 PAPRs by medical professionals at AIMS. Based on the feedback from medical professionals, the product will be fine-tuned and scaled up for production. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and Omnex Inc. will also be applying for certifications for the PAPR product. Currently, work is in progress for gathering data for pre-certification testing requirements for NIOSH approval for US markets. We are also exploring requirements for field testing in an accredited lab of NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories).”