Published: 16th July 2020
IIT Madras start-up develops portable hospital unit that can be set up in 2 hours by just 4 people
A release from IIT-M today said this deployment in Kerala has been undertaken with grants from Habitat for Humanity's Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter
The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M)-incubated start-up Modulus Housing has developed a portable hospital unit that could be installed anywhere within two hours by four people. Christened 'MediCAB,' it was a decentralized approach to detect, screen, identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in their local communities through these portable microstructures. It was recently launched in Wayanad District of Kerala where the units were being deployed to treat corona patients.
The startup was developing micro hospitals that could be deployed rapidly across the Nation. The Medicab was foldable and is composed of four zones--a doctor's room, an isolation room, a medical room/ward and a twin-bed ICU, maintained at negative pressure. A release from IIT-M today said this deployment in Kerala has been undertaken with grants from Habitat for Humanity's Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter.
The startup collaborated with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) which provided inputs on the certifications and customizations necessary for the project. Founded by two IIT alumni in 2018, Modulus Housing was supported by IIT-M Incubation Cell and has a vision to revolutionise housing through modular prefab structures.
They have re-purposed their designs to support the fight against the COVID-19. Stressing on the need for such innovations in COVID-19 times, Mr Shreeram Ravichandran, Chief Executive Officer, Modulus Housing, said, "The outcome of this pilot project in Kerala will help in proving the applicability of the technology and advantages of micro hospitals, with MediCAB as an instant infrastructure solution.'' ''It can be easily assembled in eight hours by four people.When folded, our collapsible cabins are reduced five-fold, making it very cost-effective for transportation'', he said. Stating that health infrastructure was crucial in fighting any pandemic, he said with a contagious disease like COVID-19, it was essential to have smart health infrastructure to screen, contain and treat people.
Unlike urban areas where there were existing infrastructures that could be converted to hospitals, rural areas do not have a lot of infrastructure. It was difficult to construct buildings from scratch as the requirement was immediate. As the rural population density was relatively low, more micro hospitals help greatly in tackling COVID-19 cases, he noted. Modulus was working on a dual design where these could be rapidly launched as COVID-19 isolation wards. Post-COVID-19, they could be transformed into micro-hospitals/clinics in Rural India where the medical infrastructure needs to be augmented. Modulus Housing's manufacturing unit was based at Chengalpet, about 65 km from Chennai.