INTRO: Smart health wearables maker, Fitbit, has finally developed a low-cost, quite an easy-to-use emergency ventilator called ‘Fitbit Flow’ looking out for the current situation. The newly invented device has received the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for its use during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as announced by the company on Wednesday.
The device is built on standard resuscitator bags, just like those which are used by paramedics. It also uses sophisticated sensors and alarms that work altogether to support automated compressions and for the patient monitoring, according to what the company said. According to an official press release, the Fitbit Flow is inspired by the MIT E-Vent Design Toolbox and it is based on specifications for Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation Systems.
The company also says it has consulted with Oregon Health & Science University and the Mass General Bringham Center on its design of the ventilators and its development. Fitbit is also working on including a high-resolution display along with the ventilator to view the system’s status and pressure waveforms of the patient.
In a press statement, the co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, James Park, said: “COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity, and use everything at our disposal to bring out types of equipment which are needed a bit more rapidly to develop products that support patients and the health care systems caring for them.
As an organization, we saw an opportunity to rally our expertise and stand out in advanced sensor development, manufacturing, and our global supply chain to address and reach out for the critical and ongoing need for ventilators and help make a difference in the global fight against this virus situation”.
The coronavirus pandemic crisis has killed more than 380,000 people globally as of June 4, according to the World Health Organization. With the current need for low-cost ventilators at an all-time high, the Fitbit Flow might just be a step in the right direction to tackle the situation.