Mr. Arjun U R, a fourth semester student of Integrated Lifestyle Product Design at Kerala State Institute of Design (KSID), Kollam (An institute under department of Labour and Skills) has won the D’SOURCE Corona Design Challenge organised by IIT Bombay in an effort to fight the COVID19 pandemic. His design, EZY-Isolate, a portable COVID19 isolation module, won in the product design category, which saw participation of designers from 52 countries worldwide. This design has also been shortlisted in the IAMAI Design competition which has been organised in collaboration with UNICEF to fight COVID19. Arjun has presented his idea to a team of medical experts from National Health Mission (NHM), State Medical Board and PEID Cell on 01 June and has received encouraging feedback. KSID is at present exploring options to mass produce these isolation modules in association with various ITIs in Kerala to be used in the government’s effort to manage and treat COVID patients in the state. About EZY-Isolate The people around the world are now facing a deadly threat from COVID19. The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through the droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneeze, or exhales. Now the virus is spreading all around the world and the only current solution is to isolate the infected people from the general populace. The government is taking care of isolating the people who are having the symptoms of the disease and people who have migrated from other states and countries with prevalence of COVID19. But as per the current scenario, the number of people that need isolation is increasing and will keep this trend as we bring the expatriates back to their homes. So there will be a shortage of places for the people to isolate especially in rural areas with limited access to speciality healthcare facilities. In such a scenario, the current option with the government is to set large spaces for people where they arrange beds for the quarantined people without any partition. This will affect the privacy of the people and may lead to higher chances of spreading the disease to uninfected people.

Considering this scenario, the Product Design department of the Kerala State Institute of Design (KSID), Kollam, has come up with a product called EZY-Isolate. EZY-Isolate is an indoor modular portable isolation unit. This is room to isolate the people in case of communicable diseases like COVID19 and can be used in multiple configurations. EZY-Isolate can be used to supplement medical care spaces and as temporary isolation modules at Railway Stations, Airports, etc. The design of the module is done in such a way that it can be easily mass-produced at low cost and can be provided with the basic requirements for the isolated person. The most important feature of the module is that it gives privacy for the patients, which is otherwise a problem in makeshift medical facilities.

The module is cubical, with each wall having 8 feet length. The basic structure is made of painted Galvanized Iron pipe which gives a rigid structure. The entire structure can be dismantled into smaller units and easily carried to any place. The outer cover of the unit can be made of fabric like polyester, nylon, or canvas. The outer cover consists of two parts, which are fixed using the Velcro locking mechanism and provides an airtight covering. Transparent windows, zipper doors, exhaust fan, and filtered air inlet vent are attached to the outer cover. The outer cover can be easily folded for transportation and the total module weighs around 25 kilograms, including both the cover and the frame.

The module provides space to keep a bed, table, chair, personal belongings, bags and a pedestal fan. For food and medical requirements, the person can be accessed through the door. The module will give a pleasant mood for the person rather than an isolated feel because the transparent widows help the person to see things around outside and also enough space inside the module helps the person not to feel stressed. The unit will contain electrical components like a light source, a plug point, and an exhaust fan. An additional facility like toilet facility, external air cooling and circulation facility, etc. can be added to the module. The size of the room can be increased by connecting two or more modules close to each other which creates a larger single module. This portable unit is estimated to cost around Rs. 8,000 which include Rs. 5,000 as material cost, Rs.1,500 for the electrical components in the module, and Rs. 1,500 as labour charges. It is expected to bring the cost down to 5000 Rupees for a single unit through mass-production. More facilities and features can be added to the unit according to the availability and requirement. This concept was designed by Mr Arjun U R, a fourth semester student of Integrated Lifestyle Product Design. He is a native of Cochin and an electrical engineer. The prototype of the concept was fabricated at KSID with the support of Manu T(Associate Faculty), Felix Abraham and Sujith S(Technical Assistants), who are academic staff at the institute.