IIT Madras-incubated start-up develops portable hospital for Covid cases

Topics IIT Madras | start-up | Coronavirus

‘MediCAB’ Portable Hospital Unit, developed by IIT Madras Startup Modulus, deployed in Wayanad, Kerala, to treat Covid-19 patients
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras-incubated start-up, Modulus Housing, has developed a portable hospital unit that can be installed by four people anywhere within two hours.

Called ‘MediCAB,’ it is a decentralised approach to detectiig, screening, identifying, isolating and treat Covid-19 patients in their local communities at these portable microstructures.

‘MediCAB’ was launched recently in Wayanad District, Kerala, where the units are being deployed to treat Covid-19 patients. The start-up is developing micro hospitals that can be deployed rapidly across the nation. The Medicab is foldable and is composed of four zones – a doctor's room, an isolation room, a medical room/ward and a twin-bed ICU, maintained at negative pressure.

Founded by two IIT alumni in 2018, Modulus Housing was supported by IIT Madras Incubation Cell and has a vision to revolutionise housing through modular prefab structures. They have re-purposed their designs to support the fight against Covid-19.

Shreeram Ravichandran, Chief Executive Officer, Modulus Housing, said, “The outcome of this pilot project in Kerala will help in proving the applicability of the technology and advantages of micro hospitals, with MediCAB as an instant infrastructure solution. It can be easily assembled in eight hours by four people. When folded, our collapsible cabins are reduced five-fold, making it very cost-effective for transportation.”

He added that with a contagious disease such as Covid-19, it is essential to have smart health infrastructure to screen, contain and treat people. Unlike urban areas where there is plenty of existing infrastructure that can be converted to hospitals, rural areas do not have a lot of infrastructure. It is difficult to construct buildings from scratch as the need is immediate. As rural population density is relatively low, more micro hospitals help greatly in tackling Covid-19 cases.

Modulus is working on a Dual design where these can be rapidly launched as Covid-19 isolation wards. Post-Covid-19, these can be transformed into micro-hospitals/clinics in Rural India where the medical infrastructure needs to be augmented. Modulus Housing has set up its manufacturing unit at Chengalpet (located about 35 kms from Chennai).

India has 0.7 beds per 1,000 persons. Innovations such as the MediCAB will help boost the healthcare infrastructure in India as it can be rapidly transported (Six units can fit in a truck). It can be deployed at any time and to any place.

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