According to reports, India has unveiled the world's first portable disaster hospital, known as the 'Aarogya Maitri Cube.' This innovative healthcare solution, developed under the BHISHM project (Bharat Health Initiative for Sahyog Hita and Maitri), consists of 72 cubes, organized into three frames, with each frame containing 12 mini-cubes.
India's Aarogya Maitri Cube, airlifted and versatile, houses critical medical equipment, including operation theatres, mini-ICUs, ventilators, and more, supporting 200 survivors for 48 hours. It's a response to PM Modi's Bhishma project, forming a Ministry of Defence task force, and his 'Aarogya Maitri' initiative to aid countries in crises. The project debuted at the MedTech Expo, Gujarat, during the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting, showcased to Myanmar officials in July.
“PM Modi had personally given inputs to top officials from the health ministry and defence ministry. On his suggestions, a line of ayurvedic products was added to the list of items in the cubes,” a government official involved in the project told News18.
“While India has already donated two Aarogya Maitri Cubes to Myanmar as a goodwill gesture, one is being readied for donation to Sri Lanka,” the officer said.
“HLL Life Care is the government’s nodal agency for sourcing the Aarogya Maitri Cube, whereas the manufacturing has been undertaken by multiple sellers as it includes a variety of products.”
“As inspired by PM Modi, the brief that was given to us was to innovate something original and out of the box,” Air Vice Marshal Tanmoy Roy, head of the BHISHM task force, had told News18 at Gandhinagar during the MedTech exhibition at Mahatma Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Roy and his core team of six colleagues sat down to decide what could be the possible ideas. “I am a doctor and I understand the emergency requirements on the war front, especially when the wars are becoming intense and explosives are becoming devastating.”
“Doctors will not be there in war zones or disaster-hit areas to treat everyone. Hence, the kits are made very simple and can be used via tablet-based application which is provided within the kit,” Roy said, adding that the cost of making 72 cube boxes is less than Rs 2.5 crore.
“It would easily be about a million dollars if it was not a wholly Made-in-India product.”
“Total weight for each master cube (containing 36 cubes) is less than 750 kg… combination of two such cubes converts the basic primary care setup arrangement into a mobile hospital capable of performing life-saving surgery,” Roy said.
“One hour from arrival at the disaster location, the hospital will become operational… but the operation theatre gets ready within 10 minutes of positioning.”
These cubes, which can be transported by helicopter or drones, are strategically positioned in the cage for efficient use. A tablet-based application manages all 72 cubes. For instance, the 'anaesthesia kit' includes advanced surgical equipment and a foldable table for a surgical team of five, with a ventilator and other critical medical devices for performing 10-15 basic surgeries per day.
All equipment is rechargeable, and the kit features a portable generator, including a solar panel-based generator. Additionally, the cubes contain various medical equipment such as a portable ventilator, ultrasound machine, digital imaging radiography machine, defibrillator, high-mounted OT lights, stretchers, modern surgical devices, and a portable laboratory, among others. The product is customizable to meet specific requirements.
“The contents of the boxes will vary depending on whether they are being sent for assistance in natural disaster scenarios or to regions affected by war," said Roy.
“It can also be utilized in regions across India that need medical support due to epidemics, high elevations, or challenging landscapes. This could play a significant role in the management of public health.”
Image source: India Today