UNS Creates Ventilator to Help COVID-19 Patients

The Physics Department of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) created a ventilator specifically designed as a respiratory aid for COVID-19 patients. The development of this ventilator is aimed to meet the demand for ventilators that has been increasing significantly during the current pandemic and to help reduce the infection fatality rate due to the shortage of ventilators.

For this reason, Dr. Ahmad Marzuki and his team from the Optical & Photonics Laboratory of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences have been developing ventilators since early March. Dr. Marzuki said that with a high population density and population mobility, Indonesia has a much higher risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“In Italy and the United States, COVID -19 spreads very quickly. Especially in these two countries, the increase rate of the infected citizens is far above the increase rate of the recovered patients. As a result, hospitals are overwhelmed. There are not enough rooms available. Another thing is that hospitals lack ventilators, which are urgently needed by acute patients. For this reason, we have taken the initiative to develop ventilators so that any time our country is in dire need of ventilators as what happened in Italy and the USA, we are ready to help. But we pray that we won’t end up in such a situation,” explained Dr. Marzuki.

UNS is not the only institution that develops ventilators. Many universities in Indonesia and abroad such as MIT, Oxford University, Rice University, Bandung Institute of Technology, and many others have also developed ventilators. There is a difference between the ventilators developed at UNS and other ventilators. A distinctive feature of the ventilators developed by UNS is that waste gas is expelled from the system without recycling so that there is a very small chance of virus contamination in the clean oxygen delivered to the lungs.

“Our ventilators are equipped with a control system that enables the operator to program the main parameters according to the patient’s airflow and respiration condition such as respiratory rate, tidal volume, oxygen level, and so on. This is the advantage of our ventilators compared to other ventilators,” he added.

The first version of the ventilator is sold at a very affordable price. “The team from the Physics Department has consulted to the University Hospital for problems related to the function of this ventilator and the specifications that fit medical standards,” said Dr. Marzuki.

Dr. Marzuki and his team will continue to develop this ventilator to meet medical standards certified by SNI (Indonesian National Standard). He expected that soon the team will be ready to receive orders from any clinic or hospital that need ventilators.

The Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Harjana, Ph.D., added that the development of ventilator by the Physics Department is part of the innovations made to help Indonesia cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. “The team from the Optical & Photonics Laboratory will continue to develop ventilators,” said Harjana, Ph.D.