We have seen a number of tech companies like Tesla, General Motors, NVIDIA, sports brands, and even the space agency NASA have contributed in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. Now, an American company Belkin, probably best known for its phone and computer accessories, is also entering the fight. Belkin will now begin manufacturing emergency ventilators designed by the researchers at the University of Illinois.
Named FlexVent, the Gas-Operated Ventilator, will be used as a single-use, emergency ventilator that can provide constant-flow, pressure-cycled ventilation automatically to patients in respiratory distress. The device is currently under the review of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and waiting for the approval of its Emergency Use Authorization.
It is intended to be used for COVID-19 patients in need of emergency care and less severe cases of COVID-19.
“Our merger with Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) in 2018 gave us access to the most powerful and capable manufacturing assets in the world and its long-term strategy to create new end markets in automotive, industrial, and medical systems industries. We had to take action now where we could. With a global pandemic underway, we quickly realigned our assets to serve the healthcare community, and we were able to adapt to identify one of the most pressing needs facing the healthcare community: ventilators,” said Chet Pipkin, CEO, and founder of Belkin.
Belkin has shared a few images of the ventilator on its website and is currently not available for pre-orders or sale. FlexVent would be a useful product to treat COVID-19 patients when other FDA-cleared or approved conventional/standard full-featured ventilators are unavailable.
“The University of Illinois and its partners developed an emergency ventilator concept as we saw the need for these devices grow exponentially,” said William King, a professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering in The Grainger College of Engineering who led the project. “We were driven by the desire to help the world and make a meaningful impact on the COVID-19 crisis, and we’re proud to work with Belkin to have that impact.”