Government to procure 1,50,000 units of the Oxycare system developed by DRDO for treatment of COVID-19 patients

Published : May 13, 2021 14:34 IST

In the Oxycare system DRDO has developed, oxygen flow can be regulated, either manually or automatically, on the basis of the SpO2 reading. Here, a person's SpO2 level being checked with a pulse oximeter. Photo: VIJAY SONEJI

The Central government has decided to procure 1,50,000 units of the ‘Oxycare’ system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and deploy them in hospitals. The Rs.322.5 crore required for this purpose will come from the PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund. The DRDO has already initiated a transfer of technology to multiple industry partners across India, who will now start manufacturing the system.

The Oxycare system regulates the oxygen administered to patients based on the sensed SpO2 levels. The Centre will procure 1,00,000 manual and 50,000 automatic Oxycare systems along with non-rebreather masks. Developed by DRDO’s Defence Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory (DEBEL) for soldiers posted at extremely high altitudes, the Oxycare system can be used effectively to treat patients infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Announcing the decision on May 12, officials from the Defence Ministry said that the Oxycare system prevents the patient from sinking into a state of hypoxia which can be fatal. Of the two variants, the basic version consists of a 10-litre oxygen cylinder, a pressure regulator-cum-flow controller, a humidifier and a nasal cannula, with oxygen flow being regulated manually based on the SpO2 readings. The advanced system has an oxygen cylinder that is equipped with electronic controls, which automatically regulates the oxygen flow through a low-pressure regulator and an SpO2 probe. An advantage in the automatic system is that it provides audio warnings for various failure scenarios, including low SpO2 values and probe disconnections. The non-rebreather masks are integrated with the system for efficient use of oxygen and they will need to be changed for every patient. The system can be used at home, COVID care centres and hospitals.

Defence Ministry officials said the system optimises the consumption of oxygen based on the SpO2 reading of the patient, thereby increasing the endurance of the oxygen cylinder. The threshold SpO2 value for initiating flow from the system can be adjusted manually. The Oxycare system has a display which enables a continuous monitoring of SpO2 level.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor