IIT Hyderabad, USafe Healthcare brings the world's most affordable respirator to market
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HYDERABAD: The Indian Technology Institute Hyderabad (IIT H) launched a US9 ™ breathing mask on Tuesday that is said to be better in protection than the N95 mask and costs around 13 rupees a day.

Manufactured by USafe Healthcare, a youngest member of the Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship, IIT H, the company is believed to have developed and marketed the world’s most affordable respirator that is extremely durable and meets the highest safety standards for operation in hazardous environments.

“USafe’s US9 ™ Respirator Mask has a PM0.3 filtration rate of 98.03% and a bacterial filtration rate of 99.7%, which is better than the N95 standards. It can be far more effective than the masks currently on the market at protecting against the COVID-19 virus, ”said Sai Laxman Bharadwaj, the company’s co-founder and technical director. He said the mask, along with 10 complementary filters, cost around Rs 499.

“A pack of 30 filters costs 399 rupees,” said Bharadwaj. “It creates value for the consumer by offering a fresh N95 standard mask every day for only 13 rupees. This makes it a groundbreaking, affordable innovation that is currently supplying the product to top hospitals in Hyderabad and plans to manufacture the US9 ™ respirator available across India.

Manufacturers said the filtration of the filter cartridges in the respirator has been certified by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), a NABL-designated agency for particle and bacterial filtration testing in India. The mask is designed for a comfortable fit with a full silicone gasket reinforced by the fit tests carried out at IIT Hyderabad with an infrared camera.

Telangana chief secretary Jayesh Ranjan, who launched the product on Tuesday, said it was another important contribution made by IIT Hyderabad and Telangana State to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The reusability innovation in the US9 ™ respirator not only reduces recurring costs, it also dramatically reduces the bio-waste generated by face masks,” said Ranjan.

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