03 August, 2020 1:36 PM

ASEAN S&T Fellowship's Story: Fighting at the Forefront against COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Sarot Srang is our fellow ASEAN 2019/20 S&T Fellow who has been working on designing ventilators for his home country, Cambodia.

Originally basing their design on an open source specification done by researchers from MIT, Dr. Sarot Srang and his team in the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) have managed to craft ventilators for Cambodia in the time of COVID-19. Not only has it been effective in helping those in need, but it is also very efficient: it is produced by local materials, and at the same time the design can be replicated in almost any other place in the world - “as long as we provide automatic control system design and [a] program code that guarantees safety of operation.”

The design mirrors an Ambu Bag, a bag valve mask that is operated by a health worker by squeezing the bag to essentially pump air into the lungs. However, this manual method also comes with its risks, such as stomach inflation and lung injury from over-pressurisation; Dr. Sarot and his team’s ventilator is an automated version of this ambubag, where things like BPM, tidal volume, and inhale/exhale time ratio are more accurate to the patient’s needs. The ventilator operates in two mods, the Volume Control mode and the Assist Control mode. These two modes can adjust the amount of tidal volume and monitor Plateau Pressure and PEEP pressure, accordingly.

Dr. Sarot and his team have done an outstanding job thus far in assisting the medical field in Cambodia. But their journey does not stop there, and they continue to create better equipment further on in this pandemic. Dr. Sarot has expressed the team’s plans on creating a second version of this ventilator, wherein they intend to make it as safe as possible. “It has features of producing using local material, high control program, and high durability,” he mentions. We look forward to witnessing the success of this next project.

Written by Beatrice Riingen, Communications Intern

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