In a major step towards rapid mass production of the Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) developed by the Indian Navy, a patent has been successfully filed by the Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC) of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in association with National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise under Min of Science & Technology. The low cost PPE has been developed by a Doctor of Indian Navy, posted at the recently created Innovation Cell at Institute of Naval Medicine (INM), Mumbai. A pilot batch of PPEs has already been produced at Naval Dockyard Mumbai.
The PPE developed by the Navy is made of a special fabric which affords high level of protection along with high ‘breathability’ as against other PPEs available in the market and is therefore more suitable for use in hot and humid weather conditions as prevalent in India. The technology has also been tested and validated by ICMR approved Testing Lab.
Concerted efforts are now ongoing by a core team of Navy, IPFC and NRDC to commence mass production of this low cost PPE. Eligible firms are being identified by NRDC for taking up licensed production of the PPEs on a fast track. A very significant and urgent requirement in the fight against the Corona Virus is the need to equip our front line health care professionals with comfortable PPEs, which can be produced indigenously at an affordable cost without much capital investment. The firms / start ups interested to take up licensed production may approach firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team of Innovators from Navy is working in close coordination with IPFC which was set up under Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti. Since its launch in Nov 2018, around 1500 IP assets have been created under Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti. The PPEs were first tested by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMA), Delhi, a lab of the Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) organization, tasked with the testing and certification of PPE and is certified to be mass produced and used in clinical COVID situations. Shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is of serious concern as it imperils the well-being and availability of the healthcare workforce, apart from adversely impacting their security and morale.
The PPE is required to meet stringent criteria on testing and the benchmarks of the same are set by the ICMR and the MoHFW. The PPE passed with 6/6 Synthetic blood penetration resistance test pressure. (GoI mandates minimum 3/6 and above level as per ISO 16603 standard) and is thus certified to be mass produced and used in clinical COVID situations. The outstanding features of the PPE are its simple, innovative and cost-effective design; thus it can be made by basic gown manufacturing facilities. The PPE is noteworthy for the innovative choice of fabric used, which gives the PPE its ‘breathability’ and penetration resistance rendering it both comfortable and safe for the user. The cost for this PPE is significantly lower than those commercially available.