Appropriate Technology when Facing a Critical Pandemic Period
The COVID-19 PANDEMIC, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), will not go away in the near future. In our daily life, the use of personal protective equipment, such as cloth masks, is then recommended to at least reduce the risk of transmission and overcome the increasing need for medical masks. Availability of medical equipment, both for individuals and medical personnel, is urgently needed.
In the early days of dealing with the global pandemic, through the research scheme it carried out, the Institute for Research and Community Service (LPPM) of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) had implemented 16 community service programs. A number of research and development products from LPPM-ITB include multi-user ventilators, art consultation and psychotherapy websites, mobile disinfectant prototypes for ultraviolet irradiation, N-95 mask sterilization cabins, modeling of the spread of Covid-19 in West Java, PPE cleaning containers with gas. ozone, the production of thousands of PPE that has been distributed to various hospitals, and many other activities.
To assist the availability of medical devices, LPPM-ITB has developed a multi-user ventilator that has functions such as a ventilator for critical care. The manufacture of the tool was led by researchers from the Instrumentation and Control Expertise Group, Faculty of Industrial Technology (FTI) ITB, Augie Widyotriatmo, Ph.D. With his team, he developed a tool called Low Cost Multi Use Multi User (LC MUMU). The name comes from the lower production cost of the ventilator compared to other ventilators, it can be used by several users (multiple users) and the variety of benefits (multi use) because there are four functions.
For disinfection equipment, researchers from the Earth Physics and Complex Systems Expertise Group, FMIPA ITB, Dr. eng. Bagus Endar Bachtiar N. developed a high power mobile disinfectant using Type-C ultraviolet light to sterilize droplets/micro-droplets containing the Covid-19 virus. The tool is specifically designed for use in Covid-19 referral hospitals. This tool has a large enough power. Its power input is around 750-1000 watts and is capable of emitting radiation of 25 watts/m2 at a radius of 1 meter or at least capable of emitting UV-C radiation of 2.8 watts/m2 for a room with a volume of 108 m3 (equivalent to a room measuring 6x6x3 meters). In addition, this tool is equipped with a telecontroller system that can be operated using a laptop or cellphone remotely.
With great irradiation power, this tool can not only weaken the virus, but can kill the virus by damaging its DNA structure using energy from UV light exposure. The radiant energy of UV type C radiation is much greater than the content of UV type C from the relatively minimal sunlight. Type C UV light contained in the device is the standard UV light used to sterilize equipment from microbial or pathogenic contamination. The UV type C light of this device has a high irradiation energy and a short wavelength of 230 nm. This UV light mobile device is equipped with a monitor module to detect the effectiveness of illumination (illumination), so that it can ensure that UV light can reach all corners of the room. With the right dose of this type of light, the Covid-19 virus, aerosol contaminants and micro-droplets floating in the air, can be turned off.
Meanwhile, to answer the increasing need for medical masks, especially N-95 masks for health workers in hospitals and health centers, ITB engineers created a sterilization cabin. The sterilization cabin for N-95 masks was developed by the FTMD-ITB Renewable Energy Laboratory team led by the Head of the Research Team, Dr. Yuli Setyo Indartono. The team developed the sterilization cabin by taking into account the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. There are two types of technology used, namely air ionization technology and hydrogen peroxide vapor technology in a 1x1x2 cubic meter cabin.
“From various scientific studies, negative air ions can damage the structure of bacteria and viruses. We also use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity of the air. If the humidity is low, the air will absorb water from the mask. There is no need to heat the mask,” he explained. The ability of this tool to decontaminate bacteria has been tested at the Microbiology Laboratory at the ITB School of Pharmacy by Prof. Marlia Singgih Wibowo and Prof. Pingkan Aditiawati at SITH ITB. “The test results show that this cabin is able to decontaminate colonies of Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli bacteria on the screen surface as much as 90% for 90 minutes,” said Dr. Yuli S Indartono. This cabin has also been tested at RSHS Bandung with good results. Sterilization cabins with air ionization technology have been used at RSHS Bandung, RS Rotinsulu Bandung, and RS Cibabat Cimahi.
The sterilization cabin using hydrogen peroxide vapor has also been tested at the SITH ITB microbiology laboratory with very good results. With a minimum exposure time of 10 minutes, this cabin is able to decontaminate 99.9% of Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli bacterial colonies on the screen surface. This type of sterilization cabin has been handed over to Dustira Hospital in Cimahi City.
In addition to medical devices, LPPM-ITB is also very considerate of the impact on the mental health of the community due to Covid-19. Therefore, Dr. Ira Adriati from the Aesthetics and Art Sciences Expertise Group, Faculty of Fine Arts and Design (FSRD) in collaboration with a psychiatrist at Melinda 2 Hospital created a pocket book for young women in pandemic situations and a counseling website. This team presents the virtual consultation and art therapy site ruangempati.com to maintain mental health, especially during the pandemic.
This site is an online “vent room” innovation using art psychotherapy methods with the aim of reducing people’s anxiety with art activities. The website ruangempati.com features two main features, namely art consultation and psychotherapy. Users can directly consult a psychiatrist whose contact has been provided. For art psychotherapy, visual art activities will be provided to channel emotions and it is hoped that after doing these art activities, the user’s mentality will be better.
In dealing with Covid-19, ITB has taken immediate countermeasures in the early or critical period of the Covid-19 pandemic since March, including through community service activities and until now continues to carry out advanced research programs to overcome Covid-19 through collaboration with RISTBRIN.(IP/source: itb.ac.id)***