NASA VITAL Prototype Ventilators To Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

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In a bid to help the coronavirus infected, NASA has announced that it has successfully developed a prototype ventilator for the treatment of coronavirus patients. For this, NASA has developed VITAL or the Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally.

COVID-19 Pandemic: NASA Builds Prototype Ventilators

 

Currently, NASA's VITAL is in the prototype stage and still needs FDA approval. If approved, it will free up the traditional ventilators for sever COVID-19 cases. The achievement is applaudable, as NASA has built the prototype ventilator is just 37 days.

"We specialize in spacecraft, not medical-device manufacturing. But excellent engineering, rigorous testing, and rapid prototyping are some of our specialties," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Michael Watkins explained in a blog post.

What Is NASA VITAL?

Going into the details, NASA's newly developed VITAL device is not an altered BiPAPs and CPAPs, which are traditionally used to treat sleep apnea. Instead, it is designed to be used in an invasive manner. At the same time, it won't as long as the traditional ventilator.

NASA explains that like all ventilators, VITAL requires patients to be sedated and an oxygen tube inserted into their airway to breathe. Also, it wouldn't replace the present hospital ventilators, which are designed and built to last years together and to cater to a broader range of medical issues.

"Instead, VITAL is intended to last three to four months and is specifically tailored for COVID-19 patients," NASA said in the blog post. It should be noted that NASA will only be designing the ventilator. Therefore, the VITAL device is designed to use parts currently available to potential manufacturers, but not compete with the existing supply chain of currently made ventilators.

 

Will NASA VITAL Help?

Considering the short supply of workers with most of the industries in lockdown, it would be impossible in the short term from the perspective of regulatory qualification. New production lines would generate the additional output only if the supply industry also doubled. This is why NASA's team is using the non-traditional components to find a way around the constraints.

NASA VITAL device would certainly help combat the deadly virus as it spreads through more states. Now that the ventilator is designed, it needs FDA approval, after which, it would the production lines. Hopefully soon, this vital device will reach where needed the most.

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