The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed SpO2 (Blood Oxygen Saturation) supplemental Oxygen Delivery System, expected to help soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas.

“Being ever in the forefront to support the Indian Soldier in most difficult terrain and adverse circumstances, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed yet another system, which is of great value not only to the Indian Army soldiers fighting in the Extreme High Altitudes Areas but also would be a boon to the country in this extreme crisis of Covid 19 pandemic,” DRDO said on Monday.

Developed by Defence Bioengineering & ElectroMedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bengaluru of DRDO, the system delivers supplemental oxygen based on the SpO2 levels and prevents the person from sinking in to a state of Hypoxia, which is fatal in most cases, it sets in. This automatic system can also prove to be a boon during the current Covid-19 situation.

According to DEBEL officials, the electronic hardware of the system is designed for functioning at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures, and humidity. "The software safety checks incorporated into the system are critical in ensuring the functional reliability of the system in field conditions," officials added.

Hypoxia is a state in which the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues is inadequate to fulfil all the energy requirements of the body.

This is exactly the situation that gets replicated in a Covid patient due to the virus infection and has been leading to the current crisis, DRDO explained.

The electronic hardware of the system is designed for functioning at extreme altitudes featuring low barometric pressures, low temperatures and humidity. The software safety checks incorporated into the system are critical in ensuring the functional reliability of the system in field conditions.

The system reads the SpO2 levels of the subject from a wrist-worn pulse oximeter module through the wireless interface and controls a proportional solenoid valve to regulate the oxygen supply to the subject.

The oxygen is delivered from a lightweight portable oxygen cylinder through nasal nares. The system is available in various sizes from one litre and one Kg weight with 150 litres of oxygen supply to 10 litres and 10 kg weight with 1500 litres of Oxygen supply which can sustain for 750 minutes with a continuous flow of 2 litres per min (lpm). Since the system is indigenously developed for operation in field conditions, it is unique with its dual qualities of robustness and cheap and is already in bulk production with industry.