PGIMER & IIT Ropar develop customized solutions for use in COVID Wards

Chandigarh, July 8, 2020: With the consistent spike in numbers and the infection transmitting to healthcare workers, PGIMER collaborated with IIT Ropar to develop two state-of-the art low cost autonomous vehicles “Medi-Sarathi’ and “Al-Powered Trolley” for COVID patients to minimize healthcare workers’ con-tact with infected patients and con-taminated surroundings.

The devices were formally launched by Prof. Jagat Ram, Direc-tor PGIMER and Prof. S. K. Das, Director IIT Ropar in PGIMER today.

The other dignitaries included Prof. G. D. Puri, Prof. Gurpreet Singh Prof. A. K. Gupta, , Kumar Gaurav Dhawan, Kumar Abhay, Prof. Vipin Koushal, Prof. Ashok Kumar, senior faculty members and doctors.

The collaborative partner IIT Ropar was represented by Prof. Javed Agrewala, Prof. Harpreet Singh, Dean and Prof. Deepak Kashyap.

The successfully developed whol-ly indigenous products ‘Medi-Sarathi’ and ‘AI-powered Trolley’ were designed and developed by a team of researchers led by Prof. G. D. Puri and Dr G Rajarajan from PGIMER and Dr Rohit Sharma and a team of students from IIT Ropar.

Prof. Jagat Ram commended the team for this ‘out of the box’ inno-vation and stated, “With the disease already peaking, the health and safe-ty of our front-line corona warriors has become all the more challeng-ing. It is always our utmost concern as they are putting their own lives at risk to save the lives of others. By reducing health care workers’ inter-action with COVID-19 patients to a great extent in the COVID wards, these autonomous vehicles as a part of assistive point-of-care technolo-gies meant for their use in the COVID wards are a huge step for-ward in the direction of self reliance and safety.”

Prof. S K Das emphasized on the importance of developing affordable healthcare technologies for a self-reliant India.

Prof. G.D. Puri, who ideated and conceptualized the devices along with researchers from IIT Ropar, shared his experiences as he stated, “We were brainstorming about mul-tiple affordable options to ensure better safety for our COVID-19 team in addition to SOPs being fol-lowed. That’s how ‘Medi-Sarathi’ and ‘Al-Powered Trolley’ came into being. These are special, affordable and customized solutions for our local needs which have already been rigorously tested before being launched.”

Setting the context and welcoming the initiative, Prof. Ashok Kumar, stated, “The collaboration among technological institutes and clini-cians, especially at a time of race against COVID-19, is fruitful, and is the ‘need of the hour’. This must be taken forward for other initia-tives as well.”

Apprising the house on the utility of these devices in COVID wards, Dr Rohit Sharma shared, “We are happy that our efforts have borne fruit and we could develop the devices as per expectations. Medi Sarathi is an aerial system that elim-inates the infection risk to medical staff with 100% secured success in protection, security and safeguard. Some of the features of ‘Medi-Sarathi’ include complete remote access, thermal RGB cameras for human body temperature, and sani-tization capability, among others.”

“With the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the remote trolley can be deployed autonomously in the high-infection zone to deliver essential supplies. The critical feature of the trolley includes detec-tion of obstruction, medical person-nel movement etc,” added Dr. Shar-ma.

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