Fitbit recently developed a low-cost, emergency ventilator to address the shortage of respiratory equipment in US hospitals due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country. Dubbed as the Fitbit Flow, it is equipped with standard resuscitator bags akin to existing ventilators used by paramedics.
Fitbit collaborated with the emergency clinicians handling COVID-19 patients from Oregon Health & Science University and worked with the Mass General Brigham Center for the COVID Innovation working group during the development and testing of the Fitbit Flow. This is to ensure that it meets the needs of practitioners who will use the ventilators.
Inspired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s emergency ventilator, it features Fitbit’s sophisticated instruments, sensors, and alarms to support automated compressions and patient monitoring. Fitbit shared that it is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly for hospital staff. It also delivers the same operability that emergency ventilators offer and complies with the specifications indicated by the UK government on rapidly manufactured ventilation systems.
Currently, the Fitbit Flow has obtained Emergency Use Authorization status from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration which allows first-responders to use it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fitbit plans to work with the U.S. and other global aid organizations in bringing in the ventilators to other countries in the future.