“For breath is life, so if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” – Sanskrit Proverb
According to the WHO, 120,000 children die each year due to lack of oxygen. Hospitals and clinics in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) suffer from chronic shortages of medical oxygen, with dire clinical consequences for critical care, surgery, and treatment of infectious disease such as COVID-19 and pneumonia.
The lack of reliable oxygen sources in LMICs can be attributed to, on the one hand, poor supply chain and high costs that make provision of compressed air cylinders impracticable and, on the other, technical issues that defeat traditional oxygen delivery equipment. The oxygen concentrators that are the main source of oxygen in LMICs have a high failure rate because they:
The central idea behind our innovation is to pilot an integrated delivery solution for oxygen that ensures an affordable and uninterrupted supply of oxygen at health care facilities. Our solution is two-fold:
A sustainable and affordable integrated oxygen service to ensure access to a reliable source of oxygen and ensures years of up-time by transferring the burden of maintenance from under-resourced facilities to expert technicians.
A smart, low-cost, and robust oxygen concentrator designed specifically for the challenges of the context.
A functional prototype of the concentrator has been built and a technology demonstrator is in development, along with the feasibility study of the integrated oxygen service.
Our supporters and partners are indispensable to this project’s success. Working with partners including those of the local environment and end users, enables critical interdisciplinary skills and various perspectives.
Laboratory for Functional Inorganic Materials (LFIM) Distributed Energy Systems Laboratory DESL)
Image copyrights: Adobe, Sylvain Liechti, ICRC, EssentialTech