Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
May 1, 2020 –
Rao R. Bhavani
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham
Amrita PAPR, an ultra-low-cost Powered Air Purifying Respirator alternative for frontline medical workers for COVID-19 response.
The blower in a PAPR takes contaminated ambient air, passes it through a filter and supplies it into the hood on the user’s head. Because there is always a supply of fresh air into the hood, it is more comfortable to use than a traditional full-body PPE. PAPR is also safer than N95 masks, with an Assigned Protection factor (APF) of more than 1000 for loose-fitting PAPRs, offering higher protection against aerosolized pathogens such as COVID-19 virus particles.
Even though PAPRs are safer and more comfortable to use, they have not been used in developing countries like India, because of it’s exorbitant costs. A commercial PAPR costs anywhere between Rs. 70,000 and Rs. 1,50,000.
The solution developed by AMMACHI labs engineers at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the ‘Amrita PAPR’ is an economic alternative that meets all the regulatory standards set by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Doctors Involved in the PAPR Project:
Dr Sundeep Vijayaraghavan
Dr Mahesh Kappanayil
The key features of Amrita PAPR are:
- Costs less than Rs. 30,000.
- Air supply of more than 10 CFM, giving more comfort, especially for usage in humid countries like India.
- The noise level stays below 68 decibels. Hence communication is easier, making it more appealing for indoor usages.
- Equips H14-HEPA filter, which gives more than 99.995% of filtering efficiency compared to 95% filtering efficiency provided by N95.
- Battery powers the device for more than 12 hours.
‘Amrita PAPR’ has been officially launched and 20 devices have been handed over to AIMS Hospital for usage. In the coming weeks, AMMACHI Labs engineers and the doctors from AIMS are going to conduct the usability study and more rigorous testing of the device for further improvements and refinements, if required.
We are also partnering with Omnex Global to certify and commercialize the product, ensuring it reaches the public at a low cost.
SCO-YSO 2020 (1st Shanghai Cooperation Organization – Young Scientist Conclave 2020:
Thematic Area: Combating COVID-19 and emerging pandemics through research and innovation