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