Today, American digital health and fitness brand, Fitbit famous for its eponymous fitness trackers announced that it’s low-cost and high-quality emergency ventilator Fitbit Flow has obtained Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The authorization was issued by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use during a public health emergency of the COVID-19.
The ventilators are easy-to-use and don’t require trained professionals to operate. This enables more patient monitoring without any special need for training staff. The new ventilator is compact and made from laser-cut aluminum. It can both sit on a table and stand. It also has wheels for ease in mobility and its stand can fit various sizes of oxygen tanks.
New England Journal of Medicine reported that the hospitals in the U.S. are already reporting shortages of critical equipment such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators for healthcare staff. Currently, the estimated number of ventilators in the U.S. falls between somewhere nearly 60,000 to 160,000. However, the only thing undeniable is that there are not enough ventilators for patients with COVID-19.
In the wake of COVID-19, Fitbit took advantage of their deep in-house expertise in advanced hardware design and sensor development to create Fitbit Flow. The automatic resuscitator is inspired by the MIT E-Vent Design Toolbox. Additionally, the lifesaving unit it is also based on specifications for Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation Systems.
Ventilator design similar to Fitbit Flow has become popular in light of the pandemic. This can be owed to their unique built which uses readily available components and is relatively affordable. Fitbit says that they believe their design is particularly effective with the right combination of automated alarms, sensors, and other monitoring features.
Flow and other similar ventilators are not designed to replace existing medical ventilators. Instead, they’re intended to be used only when the hardware isn’t available in quantities.