FDA approves emergency use of the new NASA-developed ventilator to treat coronavirus patients
NASA is helping the medical community address the shortage of ventilators needed to treat coronavirus patients with a ventilator prototype. Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the emergency use of a new high-pressure ventilator developed by NASA engineers to treat coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. It took NASA engineers just 37 days to develop a new high-pressure ventilator tailored for coronavirus patients
The device, called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), was developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California to free up the nation’s limited supply of traditional ventilators so they may be used on patients with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms.
VITAL is designed to be faster to build and easier to maintain than traditional ventilators, with a fraction of the parts. Within 37 days, engineers and others at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California created a high-pressure ventilator prototype tailored to the needs of patients with COVID-19 and sent it to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York for testing.
“Now that we have a design, we’re working to pass the baton to the medical community and ultimately patients, as quickly as possible,” said Fred Farina, chief innovation and corporate partnerships officer at Caltech, which manages JPL for NASA. “To that end, we are offering the designs for licensing on a royalty-free basis during the time of the pandemic.”
“This FDA authorization is a key milestone in a process that exemplifies the best of what government can do in a time of crisis,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “This ventilator is one of countless examples of how taxpayer investments in space exploration – the skills, expertise and knowledge collected over decades of pushing boundaries and achieving firsts for humanity – translate into advancements that improve life on Earth.”
The Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships at Caltech, which manages JPL for NASA, is offering a free license for VITAL and is reaching out to the commercial medical industry to find manufacturers for the device.
“Now that we have a design, we’re working to pass the baton to the medical community, and ultimately patients, as quickly as possible,” said Fred Farina, chief innovation and corporate partnerships officer at Caltech. “To that end, we are offering the designs for licensing on a royalty-free basis during the time of the pandemic.”
Below is a video of VITAL in action.