The COVID-19 pandemic has led to huge shortages of critical medical supplies like PPEs, masks, and ventilators. Many companies that used to manufacture completely unrelated products are now shifting to manufacturing medical equipment to combat the shortages. Fitbit is the latest company to join a long list of companies that will now produce medical equipment. The company plans to put up its designs for Fitbit ventilators up for approval from the government. Once approved, Fitbit ventilators will go into production and hit the markets soon. This announcement was made on May 15 by James Park who is the CEO of Fitbit. Fitbit will start producing ventilators to help tide over the COVID-19 crisis.
Fitbit Ventilators to help tide over the crisis
The active tracker company that is already famous for its wearable devices that track fitness and exercise routines. It will now shift its manufacturing line and supply-chain to produce emergency ventilators. These ventilators are being made specially to treat COVID-19 cases and strengthen the national stock of medical equipment. Fitbit’s CEO James Park said that it’s a win-win situation since people were concerned about the short supply of ventilators. He also said that Fitbit has the necessary expertise and supply-chain to effectively redirect it to produce ventilators.
Fitbit ventilators await approval
Fitbit plans to get an emergency use authorization for its ventilators. It will put up its designs of the ventilators in front of the US Food and Drug Administration for obtaining the same. This provision allows medical equipment or devices to pressed into use in case of an emergency without proper approvals. This authorization has been availed from the US FDA by many companies during the COVID-19 crisis. Park aims that these ventilators will be the most technologically advanced ones to be pressed into service. He is also focusing on the cost to make sure that they are low cost. This will allow the administration to purchase the devices without burning a huge hole in their pockets. The price, however, is not fixed yet and Fitbit officials didn’t comment upon it further.
A lot of other companies have also shifted to manufacturing ventilators during these times. Ford and GM have freed up manufacturing space to produce ventilators. On April 30th, the US FDA gave emergency use authorization for a special ventilator developed by NASA. Tesla is also coming up with its own ventilator with repurposed Tesla car parts. Belkin and the University of Illinois have come up with a single-use ventilator. General Motors, General Electric, and Ford have already bagged government no-bid contracts to produce ventilators. We can now see some competition brewing even the production of ventilators. This is happening since the Trump government has given a huge push for the production of ventilators. Trump had said that they will make the US the King of ventilators by producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.
This COVID-19 crisis has caused a shortage of ventilators the world over. In light of this, companies stepping up to produce ventilators is a good thing. However, the demand for ventilators does need to be taken into account. A lot of doctors only utilize ventilators for critical patients and this has muted the demand.