An Omani startup called Aphcarios Engineering has designed a high-tech ventilator which it claims is the first device in the world that can be operated and controlled remotely.
Named Nafs 20, the machine is equipped with features approved internationally and helps reduce risk of infection for medical staff while enabling expert advice and consultancy remotely.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Alwaleed Abdullah Almurshidi, an engineer at Aphcarios, said, “We are an Omani product design and development startup operating since 2016. Nafs 20 is a high-end mechanical ventilator.”
The company’s objective behind Nafs 20 was to design a device to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the shortage of medical equipment including respirators. The device is suitable for use in field hospitals.
“The device comes with an interactive manual that helps medical staff set it up; a user-friendly interface suitable for hospital use, and a backup battery that allows continuity in case of power loss while transferring patients. It displays 50 vital parameters and is fitted with alarms in accordance with international standards,” Almurshidi informed. With Nafs 20, the prescribed mix of low and high oxygen levels can be maintained through a software.
“The device was developed, including most of its internal components, by eight Omani engineers of the company in cooperation with specialists from the Ministry of Health. Medical staff from the ministry were very impressed by the device,” Almurshidi said.
He said the team is grateful to medical staff, including doctors and technicians at The Royal Hospital and Sohar Hospital for their support with technical advice, and Omani Company for Innovation Development for financial support for the development of Nafs 20.
“We want the participation of owners of funds from the private sector to support industrial innovation as it’s the basis on which modern economies are built,” Almurshidi said.
Team’s biggest challenge was sourcing raw material and components for the device, he said. Following the positive response to the ventilator, the team hopes to export the device.