“I was scrambling to figure out how I can actually fix all the paraphernalia that’s required on the oxygen cylinder and just give her the right amount of oxygen as the doctor has mentioned.” Atul Marwaha narrates his two-hour struggle to set up an oxygen cylinder at home when his Covid positive wife’s SPO level fell to 85. Marwaha had managed to procure an oxygen cylinder from a friend at 4 am in morning. But the real struggle was installing and setting up the oxygen cylinder the right way.
His personal ordeal, prompted Marwaha, executive vice-president of Pune-based DesignTech Systems, to come up with the idea of an Augmented reality-based mobile app that simplifies the process of setting up an oxygen cylinder at home. The ‘Oxygen cylinder setup guide’ app, available on both iOS and Android platforms, has been developed by DesignTech, an engineering services and solutions company based in Pune.
“If I were to make a simple video out of this, one of the challenges would be the user’s inability to imagine the cylinder in the context of your own home. AR takes away that challenge,” he says.“Augmented reality allows you to visualise the entire operation from your own viewpoint. It’s like something that’s physically present in front of you,” he explains, adding how a virtual hand demonstrates the procedure on the app. “People are now recognising that AR has a potential to solve problems.”
AR is essentially a technology that overlays information and virtual objects on real-world scenes in real-time. The technology operates in the space you are working in and adds information to it to make a new artificial environment.
Though still in its early stages, Marwaha says the immersive aspect of AR adds a whole new dimension to the consumer experience. “I think in the next 18 to 24 months, we will see a huge adoption of this technology everywhere,” Marwaha observes.
The free app is quite easy to use. You could easily imagine the 3D model of an Oxygen cylinder in the surrounding space with the help of AR. The idea is to set an Oxygen cylinder at home in a time of emergency, connect the flowmeter and understand the basics.
The app has already gone through the first update where the compatibility of devices was expanded. The second update will see a few more modes including safety measures in terms of handling the oxygen cylinder. But the focus will be on adding instructions on how to add different kinds of flow meters which are more complex to install. The update is expected to be rolled out by the end of this month or by the middle of next month.
Marwaha says the app has been developed in-house and a team of 8-10 people worked on it. It took the team five days to conceptualise the app and a few more days to fully develop it. However, Marwaha says the biggest challenge was to get it approved by Apple and Google as medical apps go through extra scrutiny. “We could have actually put the app under education…but since we are talking about oxygen and how to administer it to a patient. The right thing to do was to classify it under medical.”
Marwaha adds that the app will work with every oxygen cylinder above the five-liter capacity. Given that a lot of people are picking up industrial oxygen cylinders and using them for medical purposes, the app will provide detailed visual step-by-step instructions to installing and administering the oxygen. “Whether it’s a medical-grade or a non-medical cylinder, if you have oxygen in it, the standard protocol is the same for all,” he said.