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Wearable technology device company Fitbit has received emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a low-cost emergency ventilator Fitbit Flow.
The automatic resuscitator has been developed by the company in response to the global need for ventilators during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
The company leveraged its expertise in advanced sensor development and hardware design to immediately develop Fitbit Flow.
The device is inspired by the MIT E-Vent Design Toolbox and based on specifications for rapidly manufactured ventilation systems.
Fitbit Flow uses standard resuscitator bags with sophisticated instruments, sensors and alarms that work together to support automated compressions and patient monitoring.
To help reduce the stress on the medical staff, the device is designed to be intuitive and simple to use.
Fitbit co-founder and CEO 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 healthcare 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.”
During the development and testing process, the company consulted with Oregon Health & Science University emergency medicine clinicians, who were involved in the treatment of Covid-19 patients at OHSU Hospital.
It also worked with the Mass General Brigham Center for COVID Innovation working group on the design to meet the needs of practitioners.
Fitbit said that it will use its infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities to produce large volumes of the emergency devices.
The company will offer its ventilators to healthcare systems around the world that do not have a sufficient number of traditional commercial ventilators.