Thanks to COVID-19, many companies and organizations around the world have begun to produce their own ventilators to cope with a global shortage of ventilators. Recently, we’ve seen companies like Tesla, Maingear and others get involved in this area. Now, NASA is also active, and nasa’s ventilators have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat severe COVID-19 cases.
Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have developed a locally available ventilator, or VITAL. Compared to conventional ventilators, it consists of fewer parts and holds easily accessible materials in the supply chain, similar to Tesla’s approach to producing ventilators by recycling autoparts. Although NASA claims the product is easy to maintain, it will not replace conventional ventilators because VITAL is essentially a stopgap measure with a service life of about three to four months.
VITAL was developed over a 37-day period through a fast-track program. On April 21, it tested successfully on the Human Patient Simulator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Currently, NASA is looking for partners in the medical industry to produce the device during the pandemic without royalties.