IIT Madras start-up ‘develops’ portable Covid hospital

An Indian Institute of Technology Madras-incubated start-up Modulus Housing has developed a portable hospital unit that can be installed anywhere within two hours by four people.

Called ‘MediCAB,’ it is a decentralized approach to detect, screen, identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in their local communities through these portable microstructures, a statement released by the institute said.

MediCAB’ has been launched recently in Wayanad District of Kerala where the units are being deployed to treat COVID-19 Patients. The startup is developing micro hospitals that can be deployed rapidly across the nation. The Medicab is foldable and is composed of four zones – a doctor’s room, an isolation room, a medical room/ward and a twin-bed ICU, maintained at negative pressure.

This deployment in Kerala has been undertaken with grant funds from Habitat for Humanity’s Terwiliger Centre for Innovation in Shelter. The startup collaborated with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology who provided inputs on the certifications and customizations necessary for the project.

Founded by two IIT alumni in 2018, Modulus Housing was supported by IIT Madras Incubation Cell and has a vision to revolutionise housing through modular prefab structures. They have re-purposed their designs to support the fight against COVID-19.

Modulus is working on a Dual design where these can be rapidly launched as COVID-19 isolation wards. Post-COVID-19, these can be transformed into micro-hospitals/clinics in Rural India where the medical infrastructure needs to be augmented. Modulus Housing has set up its manufacturing unit at Chengalpet (located about 35 kms from Chennai).

India has 0.7 beds per 1,000 persons. Innovations such as the MediCAB will help boost the health-care infrastructure in India as it can be rapidly transported (Six units can fit in a truck). It can be deployed at any time and to any place.

Highlighting the innovations from startups supported by IIT Madras Incubation Cell, its Chief Executive Officer Dr. Tamaswati Ghosh, said, “We are very proud of our startups who are working on a range of products that are vital to India’s fight against COVID-19, from N95 masks, ventilators, affordable testing kits to portable hospital infra”.

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