Synopsis: In two months, an 11-persons research team led by Mr Subrata Chanda worked with businesses to create a non-invasive ventilation (NIV) helmet for COVID-19 patients. He recalled the period of time when it was difficult to get surgical masks, and wanted Singapore to be able to depend and support itself. A similar helmet design had been used by Italy during its peak COVID-19 period to cope with the high demand for NIV. The helmet is a soft transparent plastic which protects medical staff from getting infected, while disinfecting the air the patient breathed out. Mr Chanda said Temasek Foundation approached NP in April to research on NIV helmets. At that time, the local cases had risen to thousands. Temasek Foundation introduced the NP team to Advanced MedTech for their assistance in developing the helmet. This was part of Temesek Foundation’s Stay Prepared initiative. Mr Chanda pointed out that the helmet has not been used in Singapore yet, which was in fact a happy problem. He said apart from COVID-19 patients, other patients who develop immediate acute breathing problems could use the ventilators. He emphasised that the research on the helmet was not for profit, but to help save lives, and the team is happy to share their experience with other countries. Mr Chanda said his biggest reward was that more would have bigger faith in local capabilities. “Researching on this helmet required in depth knowledge of mechanical engineering and computational fluids. Although the NP team were not inventors, but we were able to transform these knowledge into practical uses in a short time. We were not making a toy, but a usable device. It must be based on solid knowledge,” he said.



Source: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.
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