Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) announced the launch of a low-cost emergency ventilator for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, the maker of fitness trackers, which is being acquired by Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google, said it received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to develop and bring the ventilator to market. The device is designed to be used only when there isn't a traditional ventilator available.
Dubbed the Fitbit Flow, the tech stock said it's a high-quality, cheap, and easy to use emergency ventilator. Oregon Health & Science University emergency medicine clinicians taking care of pandemic patients consulted with Fitbit during the development of the device.
"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," James Park, co-founder, and CEO of Fitbit said in a press release. "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 ventilators and help make a difference in the global fight against this virus."
While the number of COVID-19 cases has been slowing as social distancing is flattening the curve, hospitals are still in need of ventilators. That's particularly true if there is a surge in cases during the fall or into the winter. Fitbit pointed to the New England Journal of Medicine, which argues that there are still not enough ventilators to care for COVID-19 patients in the coming months. Fitbitiss leveraging its infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities to produce large volumes of these ventilators, which it aims to deploy to healthcare systems in need across the world.