Fitbit has designed a ventilator called the Fitbit Flow. This ventilator has acquired FDA’s approval. It can now be used in emergencies during the COVID19 pandemic. Although the Fitbit Flow has only been granted an emergency use authorization, it can only be used for treatment during this pandemic.
In an interview with the verge, Fitbit arthritis disclosed that they were looking to sell the machine around a cost of $5000. The company claims that this amount is way less than the price of ventilators sold by other companies. It even told the verge that they were looking to start production before the end of this month.
Fitbit has originally not planned to sell the product as a replacement for a proper ventilator. The machine’s low price suggests that it will only have the most basic features of a ventilator. The company said that The Flow would only be used for treatment in situations where one of the proper ventilators is not available. The firm also acknowledged that the FDA had not given the machine any proper authorization or approval. It has only acquired a ‘regulatory approval,’ which will allow the product to be used in emergencies.
Although Fitbit is a wearable company, originally known for selling Fitbit bands that help us manage our health by keeping track of our daily activities, it has done a good job on the ventilators. The machine is authentically designed around the resuscitator bags that are often used by paramedics. The major difference is that it comes with sensors and alarms, which will help monitor the patients. The company has put in a good amount of research in building the Flow. They consulted medical practitioners and workers to ensure that they get everything right with the device and make sure that the device is easy to understand and operate.
Fitbit’s co-founder and CEO, James Park, said that they saw an opportunity to help and make a difference in this global crisis, and they took it. In his statement, he addressed that the company had expertise in the field of sensor development and manufacturing and used that knowledge in building these ventilators, adding that they “tried to help make a difference in the global fight against this virus.”
The sudden hit by COVID19 affected all countries world-wide, leaving most of them with a need for ventilators in a large number as the number of patients increased every day. The supply of the machine was not enough to fulfill the demands, and thus a lot of companies have been trying to build and produce their ventilators to do their bit for the better. Fitbit estimates that even if the production is more than the requirement, it will come in use when the influenza season comes later in the year.
Image source: TheVerge