Fitbit may soon make emergency ventilators to tackle COVID-19 crisis, says CEO James Park
Fitbit Inc, which is known for making activity trackers, smartwatches and wireless-enabled wearable technology, will be shifting supply chain resources to make emergency ventilators.
In a conversation with CNBC , the CEO of Fitbit, James Park, said that the ventilators will be used to help treat COVID-19 patients and help bolster supply of medical devices.
As per the report, Park said the company is submitting its technology to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in coming days. He added that a team has started working on the ventilators after consulting physicans from Massachusetts General Brigham and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), among other places.
Park said one of the advantages Fitbit has is that the infrastructure and manufacturing capability required is already available to them. “We already make 10 million (wearable) devices per year, and we plan to leverage that to make deliver product at whatever volumes are needed,” said the Fitbit CEO.
The Verge reported that a number of organisations have contributed manufacturing resources to make ventilators. While General Motors and Ford have offered manufacturing spaces to ventilator companies, US space agency NASA has developed one specifically for COVID-19 patients.
According to BBC , a team of engineers and medical experts from the Imperial College in London have revealed their designs for a low-cost ventilator during the COVID-19 pandemic. Called the JamVent, it was built in response to the UK government’s appeal for more such devices.
Globally, COVID-19 cases have crossed 45 lakh with over three lakh people succumbing to the disease.