Covid 19 | Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

IIT-H based start-up launches US9 TM mask

Published: August 26, 2020
Author: rohandinda

The Centre for Healthcare Entrepreneurship (CfHE) at the Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H), on Tuesday announced its latest entrepreneurial entity, USafe Healthcare.  An innovation-driven enterprise currently focused on protective equipment against COVID-19, USafe has developed and commercialised the world’s most affordable respirator mask that is highly durable and adheres to the highest safety standards for operating in hazardous environments. With a vision to provide high-quality protection, especially in the healthcare industry and its frontline workers, USafe’s US9™ Respirator Mask has 98.03% PM0.3 filtration rate and 99.7% bacterial filtration rate, which is better than N95 standards.

“This is yet another significant contribution from IIT-H and the state of Telangana towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The Innovation of reusability in US9™ Respirator Mask not only reduces the recurring cost but also drastically decreases the bio waste generated due to protective masks. I congratulate the entrepreneurs backing this product and proving that the state of Telangana offers a conducive ecosystem for healthcare innovation” said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information and Technology, Telangana. In a virtual launching ceremony of the US9 mask, Jayesh Ranjan has launched the mask.

The home-grown innovation in tune with the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ aspirations, US9™ Respirator Mask, has been designed, developed and produced in collaboration with IIT-H under the able mentorship of Prof Surya Kumar and Prof Renu John. The filtration for the filter cartridges in the Respirator has been certified by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA), a NABL designated agency for particulate and bacterial filtration testing in India. The mask has been designed for a snug fit with complete silicone seal; this has been reinforced by the fit tests carried out at IIT-H using an infrared camera. Arguably, US9™ is technically the most advanced and affordable respiratory safety device in India and substantially more effective in protection against the COVID-19 virus than the present masks in the market.

Saumil Sharma, an ISB alumni, the company’s Co-founder & Head of Strategy said “US9™ Respirator Mask creates value for the consumer by offering a fresh N95 standard equivalent mask every day at as low as Rs. 13, making it a path-breaking affordable innovation. Reusability of US9™ Respirator Mask reduces biowaste by 1/100th of the current waste generated per person per day due to disposable masks, upholding the sustainability goals of the country.”

Speaking about the product, “We are extremely proud to have engineered the world’s most affordable respirator mask while ensuring highest standards of safety and comfort during long hours use. We are supplying the product to top hospitals in Hyderabad and the response is tremendous. Now the company plans to make US9™ Respirator Mask available pan-India”, said Dr Sai Laxman Bharadwaj, the company’s Co-founder & Technical Director.

“The support for innovation in healthcare in the State of Telangana and partnerships with premier institutes such as IIT-H serves as a great launchpad for the growth of the start-up ecosystem. Disruptive innovations, such as US9™ Respirator Mask, is imperative to not only contain the current pandemic situation but also to manage the post-pandemic aftermath in India.” summarised Dr Arshad Qureshi, Co-founder & Commercial Director.

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