Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Fitbit plans to make ventilators to help treat COVID-19 patients

Fitbit, an American company making products like activity trackers, smartwatches, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices, wants to take part in making ventilators. The company chief James Park said that the ventilator would be used to help treat COVID-19 patients.

In addition, Park also mentioned that this shift in focus of his company would also help increase the national supply of medical devices, which was needed during the coronavirus pandemic. Fitbit plans to submit the design for its ventilator to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an emergency use authorization in the future.

The cost of the device has not yet been resolved, although Park said it would be the most advanced emergency ventilator at affordable prices, Park said in an interview with CNBC. Most ventilators cost thousands of US dollars, and the best-tech devices cost around the US $50,000.

Of course, there are challenges. There is also a question – whether the Fitbit ventilator will be effective or not. Several studies have shown that ventilators are not very useful in preventing deaths from COVID-19. However, the steps taken by Fitbit is a good movement, although not necessarily effective.

United States hospitals lack ventilators during the early COVID-19 pandemic. Because they are not ready for the entry of patients who will need medical equipment because of respiratory problems. This deficiency has prompted companies from outside the health industry to help use their expertise and manufacturing capabilities to make ventilators. The company includes Fiat Chrysler, Tesla, NVIDIA, Dyson, even NASA. Meanwhile, the Belkin cell phone accessory manufacturer has developed a single-use emergency ventilator.

According to the reports, the United States now has a ventilator surplus. However, if the COVID-19 case surges again, the demand for medical devices will also increase. Well, Fitbit intends to help fill it locally and internationally.