One of the pieces of medical equipment that is currently in high-demand due to the coronavirus outbreak are ventilators. The good news is that thanks to the folks at NASA, they are licensing out their ventilator design for free so that companies can start producing them without having to waste extra time or resources researching the design.
For those unfamiliar, engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab actually got together to help create this design which was actually completed in an impressive 37 days. Dubbed VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), this ventilator design has since been approved by the FDA which means that companies can start making it and giving it to hospitals already.
According to Fred Farina, chief innovation and corporate partnerships officer at Caltech, “Now that we have a design, we’re working to pass the baton to the medical community, and ultimately patients, as quickly as possible. To that end, we are offering the designs for licensing on a royalty-free basis during the time of the pandemic.”
The VITAL was successfully tested on a “high fidelity human patient simulator” at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and according to NASA, one of the benefits of their design is that it uses fewer parts compared to traditional ventilators, and can also be modified for use in field hospitals.
It is not designed to replace current ventilators as it is said to last about 3-4 months, but in a pinch and in times as crucial as this, it will no doubt come in handy.