Leading aerospace precision engineering and manufacturing company Aequs, based in India, has collaborated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to develop AQovent, a medical-grade, low-cost, and mass-produced mechanical resuscitator to provide constant flow, pressure-cycled ventilation automatically to patients in respiratory distress. Aequs is manufacturing these respirators in India based on a license procured from the concept design for the Illinois RapidVent, which was released by the University of Illinois in March 2020.
“At Aequs, we stand in solidarity with the government and medical fraternity in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Aequs CEO and chairman Aravind Melligeri. “AQovent, one of Aequs’s most timely innovations, is a low-cost and indigenously developed resuscitator, operates without a power source, and is hassle-free. The design of AQovent lends itself well to a high level of scalability, enabling us to ramp up production to meet the surge in demand.”
AQovent is engineered to suit Indian conditions without compromising its functional integrity and to enable ease of manufacturing and reduce lead time, thereby making it conducive for mass production.
“We at the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at The Grainger College of Engineering feel privileged to have been catalysts for this wonderful partnership between Aequs and the University of Illinois resulting in AQovent,” said T. Kesh Kesavadas, director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center and professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering at Illinois. “We look forward to witnessing the positive effects it is sure to have on many lives.”
AQovent operates directly on oxygen, making it ideal for deployment in on-electrified locations and ambulances due to its portability, or in situations with limited medical facilities. These single-use resuscitators are compact and easily deployable for treating patients affected by COVID-19 and other respiratory conditions.
“The launch of the AQovent and its potential for impact is inspiring. We are delighted that Aequs can leverage the Illinois RapidVent to aid in the fight against COVID-19,” said William King, leader of the Illinois RapidVent project and professor in the University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering.
“We are thrilled that a design created by a team of engineers at the University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering will be used to help those around the world,” added Rashid Bashir, dean of The Grainger College of Engineering. “This is exactly what our engineers had in mind during our process and we are looking forward to seeing the impact it will have in India. Thank you to Aequs.”
The Health Care Engineering Systems Center was established in 2014 and has grown as a research center where engineering meets medicine in innovative ways, playing leadership roles in simulation, health data analytics, and medical robotics activities on campus at the University of Illinois. They manage the Jump Simulation Center, a 6,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art simulation and education center housed on the University of Illinois campus, established by a $10 million gift from Jump Trading. It is equipped with manikin-based simulators and virtual reality tools to meet the needs of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the first medical school in the nation focused- from the beginning- on the intersection of engineering and medicine. The Jump Simulation Center is the culmination of several years of planning; in 2014, a $62.5 million gift established the Jump ARCHES endowment, a partnership between the existing Jump Simulation and Education Center at OSF HealthCare in Peoria and HCESC at the University of Illinois. Through this partnership, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is striving to expand health care engineering technology so that it is accessible, beneficial, and revolutionary in training everyone from novice medical professionals to the most experienced clinicians.
The Health Care Engineering Systems Center partners with several health care organizations internationally, including in India, and welcomes all potential collaborations and partnerships. To learn more about HCESC, their simulation technology, and collaboration, please visit https://healtheng.illinois.edu/.