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IITians develop portable hospital units to treat COVID-19 patients

The Medicab is 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.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi | July 18, 2020 12:44:28 pm
iit madras, startup , iit startup, start up india, iit madras startup, foldable hospital, portable hospital isolation ward, education news Portable hospital by IIT Madras

An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras-incubated start-up, Modulus Housing has developed a portable hospital unit that can be installed anywhere within two hours by four people. Called ‘MediCAB,’ it is a decentralised approach to detect, screen, identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in their local communities, the IIT claims.

‘MediCAB’ has been launched recently in Wayanad District of Kerala where the units are being deployed to treat COVID-19 patients. The startup is developing micro-hospitals that can be deployed rapidly across the nation. The Medicab is 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.

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Founded by two IIT alumni in 2018, Modulus Housing was supported by the IIT-Madras Incubation Cell. The start-up had a vision to revolutionise housing through modular prefab structures, however, they have re-purposed their designs to support the fight against COVID-19.

iit madras, startup , iit startup, start up india, iit madras startup, foldable hospital, portable hospital isolation ward, education news Inside of one of one of the portable hospitals

The startup collaborated with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), which provided inputs on the certifications and customisations necessary for the project.

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.”

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“Health infrastructure is crucial in fighting any pandemic. With a contagious disease such as COVID-19, it is essential to have smart health infrastructure to screen, contain and treat people. Unlike urban areas where there is plenty of existing infrastructures that can be converted to hospitals, rural areas do not have a lot of infrastructure. It is difficult to construct buildings from scratch as the requirement is immediate. As the rural population density is relatively low, more micro hospitals help greatly in tackling COVID-19 cases,” he adds.

The startup is working on a dual design where these can be rapidly launched as COVID-19 isolation wards. Post-COVID-19, these can be transformed into micro-hospitals or clinics in rural India where the medical infrastructure needs to be augmented. Modulus Housing has set up its manufacturing unit at Chengalpet (located about 35 kms from Chennai).

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