Following NASA and Dyson, Fitbit has also developed an easy to use and low-cost ventilator designed to treat coronavirus patients.
Unveiled on Wednesday, the Fitbit Flow is an emergency ventilator that has been designed in consultation with healthcare workers working against COVID-19.
It has various sensors on-board to help monitor the patient and has a clear window through which doctors and healthcare workers can view the automated respiratory bag. Standard ventilator functions such as oxygen pressure and volume control are also present.
However, the Fitbit Flow is not a permanent solution as it only acts as a stopgap to keep patients alive until they can be put on standard machines. Thus, conventional ventilators are still necessary.
Fitbit research scientist Dr. Tony Faranesh said that the goal is to support life in the event that a machine is not available in an emergency. He added that they are already working out the ethics in deciding who gets the ventilator and who doesn’t due to a shortage of supply.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Fitbit Flow for emergencies where standard ventilators are not available.
Fitbit says that the company is using its existing infrastructure to quickly produce large numbers of the device. However, they have no plans to continue producing ventilators after the pandemic and it is only a temporary shift in focus for now.