19-year-old Mumbai student designs a compact ventilation system for PPE kits

Nihaal Singh Adarsh who is a second-year student of KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai has developed a belt-like wearable cooling system for PPE kits. The young boy has named it Cov-Tech Ventilation System which comes with a lithium-ion battery and lasts for 6 to 8 hours.

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Healthcare workers are fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic day in and out wearing those almost suffocating PPE kits. To provide some relief to these frontline warriors a 19-year-old Mumbai student has designed a compact ventilation system for PPE kits.

Nihaal Singh Adarsh who is a second-year student of KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai has developed a belt-like wearable cooling system for PPE kits. The young boy has named it Cov-Tech Ventilation System which comes with a lithium-ion battery and lasts for 6 to 8 hours.

In a press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Nihaal said, "Cov-Tech Ventilation System is like you are sitting under the fan even while you are inside the PPE suit. It takes the surrounding air, filters it and pushes it into the PPE suit. Normally, due to lack of ventilation, it is hot and humid within the PPE suit; our solution offers a way out of this uncomfortable experience, by creating a steady airflow inside".

The design of the ventilation system assures a complete air seal from the PPE kit. It provides a breeze of fresh air in a gap of 100 seconds to the user.

Nihaal took inspiration from his doctor mother to invent this system.His mother, Dr Poonam Kaur Adarsh has been treating COVID-19 positive patients at her clinic in Pune. After returning home daily, she used to narrate to him the difficulties doctors and nurses are facing due to PPE suits. This drove the brilliant mind to invent something innovative. He then participated in a design challenge organised by Technological Business Incubator, Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory.

Nihaal started working on the prototype and produced the first model in 20 days. He received support from Somaiya Vidyavihar University's RIIDL (Research Innovation Incubation Design Laboratory), supported by the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

After six months of hard work, the primary prototype was ready. It was neck-mounted, absorbing in air through U-shaped air inlets, and was holding pillow-like structures around the neck. He then gave the compact system for testing to Dr Vinayak Mane in Pune as he wanted the prototype to be tested by some unbiased doctors.

Dr Mane then showed that wearing it around the neck will be of discomfort for doctors and health care workers because of the constant sound and vibration the device emitted. So Nihaal discarded the prototype and started working on other designs. He later developed around 20 developmental models and 11 ergonomic archetypes till the final product was developed. He received help from Gaurang Shetty who is Chief Innovation Catalyst at RIIDL and CEO of Dassault Systems, Pune for this.

According to the final design, the product can be worn around the waist, like a belt and can be attached with the conventional PPE kits. It serves two purposes -keeps the user well-ventilated and keeps them safe from various fungal infections.


At present, the final product is being used in Pune's Sai Sneh hospital and Lotus multi-speciality hospital. The per-piece cost of the product is ₹ 5,499. The first shipment of the product is already out with around 30-40 units to be delivered as trial units to doctors and NGOs across the country and the next batch of around 100 units is under production.