Pakistani Engineer Develop a Low Cost Ventilator | Information Technology News

Pakistani Engineer Develop a Low Cost Ventilator

A Pakistan Electrical Engineer Dr. Rahman along with Saad Pasha, Research Associate develop the low cost ambu bag ventilator system.

Dr. Rahman, an electrical engineer from the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, had recently returned from USA after completing his Masters and PhD from The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which is one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of science and technology.


On his return to Pakistan, Rahman said, “My nephew had been brought in from Sahiwal, and as his condition went from bad to worse, there was no ventilator available for him. What we were given instead was an ambu bag which is generally used as a stop gap arrangement to save a patient’s life. Me and three other people took turns on this bag to make sure the child got his body’s requirement of air.” He continued saying, “As an engineer, I couldn’t reconcile myself with the state of affairs in the ward, that too in the 21st century,” says Dr. Rahman. He added, “I now had a choice to make: either I could sit or fume or I could use my engineering acumen and look for a solution.”

And so the good doctor chose the latter.

Going through this whole situation the idea was not to reinvent the wheel, but to create a product that could at the very least, take out the human errors involved in using an ambu bag as a ventilator. So the decision was made to automate the ambu bag. “It’s much easier to accept something familiar,” Dr Rahman says, “if we’d gone out and built something completely different, there would be challenges in getting it accepted.”

With another mechanical engineer colleague, the process of invention began, and as with most such efforts, it all started on paper, with some preliminary sketches. From there, they moved towards mechanical designs, and soon enough, the design was ready. At this point, Dr. Rahman felt that a full time resource was needed, and that’s how Saad Pasha came on-board, as a research associate provided by ITU.

Together the two have put together what is version 0.1 of the low cost ambu bag ventilator system. “Clearly there is a lot of optimisation that can happen, in the weight, size and form of the device,” says Dr. Rahman. “And as with all things medical, this needs to now go into a testing phase after which it can be rolled out.”

Dr. Rahman is now an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Lahore’s Information Technology University (ITU).

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