Fitbit has now announced it has developed a high-quality, low-cost, easy-to-use emergency ventilator called Fitbit Flow, which has obtained Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to be used during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Releasing the global need for ventilators, Fitbit applied its deep in-house expertise in advanced sensor development and hardware design to quickly create Fitbit Flow an automatic resuscitator inspired by the MIT E-Vent Design Toolbox and based on specifications for Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation Systems.
During the development and testing phase, Fitbit consulted with Oregon Health & Science University emergency medicine clinicians caring for COVID-19 patients at OHSU Hospital and worked with the MassGeneralBrigham Center for COVID Innovation working group on the design to meet the needs of practitioners.
Asserting that the COVID-19 has challenged all of mankind to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity to more rapidly develop products that support patients, James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said, “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.”
Built on standard resuscitator bags with sophisticated instruments, sensors, and alarms that work together to support automated compressions and patient monitoring, Fitbit Flow is designed to potentially reduce the strain on specialized staff who are typically needed to operate a commercial ventilator. Other similar emergency ventilators vary in the combination of features they offer, but Fitbit believes that none delivers all of the attributes of its device at the same lower price range.
Emphasising how critical it is to develop solutions that can help ensure health systems have the equipment they need to treat COVID-19 illness, David Sheridan,MD, MCR, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Co-Director of Emergency Clinical Innovation Oregon Health & Science University, said, “Fitbit Flow is a great example of the incredible innovation that emerges when academia and industry employ problem-based innovation to respond quickly to an important need. COVID-19 is a new illness and we still have much to learn about the progression, treatment, and potential recurrence of this disease.”
With an aim to supply these devices to health care systems around the world that do not have a sufficient number of traditional commercial ventilators. Fitbit Flow is designed to be used only when a traditional commercial ventilator is not available.
Besides this, Fitbit is in talks with state and federal agencies to understand current domestic needs for emergency ventilators both today and ahead of any future waves of the virus.
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