The pandemic still plagues the world and the war is far from over. Medical equipment was in short supply even when we were in the beginning stages of this pandemic, so you can only imagine where we stand now. All brands from fashion to automotive have pitched in to do their bit – be it creating masks or portable ICU pods, it is an all-hands-on-deck time. Fitbit, a company that was already leading the game in monitoring body activity, has taken its tagline of ‘every beat counts’ to a whole new level by designing portable ventilators to fight the crisis.
The Fitbit ventilator is called Flow and has already received emergency clearance from the FDA which means they can start working on the production process. Be it a 3D printed ventilator or the one that costs $40,000, they have the same job – pump oxygen into the patient’s lungs and reduce the respiratory distress. Fitbit is a trusted personal gadget that we all use to monitor our health and wellness, so the team used their existing body sensors and put them to work in a product designed to function as a portable ventilator. The resuscitator bags that paramedics use is placed inside a clear case so the health professionals can monitor and operate it from a safe distance if needed.
Portability was key, the ventilator should have the ability to be placed anywhere and comes with a mobile stand to make it easier. It is more compact in terms of the physical form when compared to traditional ventilators which helps in moving it around hospitals. Even though it functions as a ventilator, Fitbit is calling it as a life-support supplement till a commercial ventilator becomes available. While we all wait for hope in the form of a vaccine, it is important to acknowledge brands taking charge and buying us time until a cure comes around.