Fitbit VentilatorSource: Fitbit

What you need to know

  • Fitbit has developed a low-cost automatic resuscitator for emergency ventilation.
  • The Fitbit Flow has been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA.
  • Fitbit Flow is built using laser cut aluminum and is much easier to use than commercial ventilators.

Popular wearables maker Fitbit has come up with a high-quality, low-cost ventilator to help meet urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fitbit says the ventilator, named Fitbit Flow, was inspired by the MIT E-Vent Design Toolbox and designed by the company's engineers with inputs from clinicians at the Oregon Health and Science Hospital and the MassGeneralBrigham Center for COVID Innovation.

James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said in a statement:

COVID-19 has challenged all of us to push the boundaries of innovation and creativity, and use everything at our disposal to more rapidly develop products that support patients and the healthcare systems caring for them. We saw an opportunity to rally our expertise in advanced sensor development, manufacturing, and our global supply chain to address the critical and ongoing need for emergency ventilators and help make a difference in the fight against this global virus.

The Fitbit Flow has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. FDA, which means it could be put into use very soon. Fitbit will be working with aid organizations in the U.S. and several other countries to help meet the need for emergency ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging its manufacturing capabilities, Fitbit is hoping to produce "large volumes" of its Flow ventilator and supply them to health care systems around the world.

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Fitbit Flow is made from laser-cut aluminum and can be used on a tabletop or with a modular stand that can adapt to fit various size O2 tanks. It is also much simpler to operate compared to a commercial ventilator and offers a clear viewing window that lets doctors observe the automated pumping from a distance. It is also claimed to have the "same lower price range" as other similar emergency ventilators.

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