Technology

O2Matic – A reliable, portable unit to quickly produce oxygen locally using just tap water, no electricity

More than 300 participants, industry mentors, organizers, and volunteers came together at the 2nd CAMTech INDIA Jugaad-a-thon to co-create and develop affordable health technologies that address reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health (RMNCH) in India.   

Organized in partnership with Lattice Innovations and hosted by GE Healthcare India at the John F. Welch Technology Center in Bengaluru, the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Mass General Hospital’s Center for Global health called on innovators from across India, Africa, and the U.S.  

The Jugaad-a-thon (derived from the Hindi word “jugaad” meaning an innovative fix or workaround), invites some of the world’s brightest minds to collaborate over a 48-hour period and develop solutions to identified clinical challenges through an open innovation platform.  

GE sponsored three challenges and awarded prizes to three teams for Nitrobooster, which developed a cost-effective and steady supply of nitrous oxide for surgeries; O2-Matic, a low-cost method for oxygen production to address unpredictable availability of medical gases in limited-resource settings; and Aawaazz, an affordable device that screens for hearing impairment in infants in under-served communities.  

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O2Matic (Source: ET)  

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Team O2Matic (Source: Bangloremirror)  

About O2Matic  

A team of 12 members came out with an idea of making O2matic, implying that the small kit can produce instantly O2 (Oxygen) for emergencies, for almost a full hour. The team was comprised of 2 amazing women, one from America, who was at her best in her chemistry and the other a cool singer, cutting and fitting the cardboards, with her deft fingers, in spite of having some illness and tiredness, working throughout the night.

They created an ‘O2matic’ prototype.   Non-availability of oxygen (due to unreliable supply, difficulty in the transportation of cylinders due to lack of roads, or absence of skilled resources to operate the cylinders) is an imminent threat to many lives in rural hospitals/health care centers. So, O2-Matic came up with an idea of a durable and portable kit that can produce oxygen anytime.

The kit has an outer reusable canister, a lid with an oxygen outlet that will be mounted on the canister, and a replaceable cartridge, which will hold the salt compound and the catalyst required for the chemical reaction. There is also a measuring jar with a provision to add water into the cartridge and the whole set-up shall be in a portable kit bag.   

During an emergency, a user can unlock the lid from the canister, add tap water into the cartridge in the water provision, drop the cartridge into the canister and lock the lid again.  

When the lid is completely locked, it activates the cartridge so that all the compounds mix and react in the closed canister to produce oxygen, which shall be administered to the patient in need. The whole workflow takes only a few seconds.  

O2MAtic could be used in the following areas;   During emergency situations in rural areas (PHC, caretakers who visit house by house, etc.)

  • In areas affected by natural calamities where transportation, access and electricity is a challenge
  • As emergency kit other than the O2 cylinders in ambulances
  • As emergency kit in hospitals and communities
  • As emergency kit in locations where pressurized oxygen is prohibited.
  • In mines for treatment.

After the initial design, the team is now working on a portable kit-style prototype that is intuitive in design and can even be used by an unskilled person to generate oxygen using a modular apparatus. (Source: ET)  

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