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article imageEngineers at NASA-JPL persevered to develop a COVID-19 ventilator

By Karen Graham     May 30, 2020 in Technology
NASA- JPL engineers designed a special ventilator -- called VITAL - in little over a month and received an 'Emergency Use Authorization' from the Food and Drug Administration on April 30. The new ventilator is tailored for coronavirus patients.
VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally) was developed by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California in just 37 days and received an Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 30.
VITAL is designed specifically for COVID-19 patients and won't replace current hospital ventilators, which can treat a broader range of medical issues. VITAL is made up of far fewer parts than the traditional hospital ventilator and is intended to last three to four months.
Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals being set up in convention centers, hotels, and other high-capacity facilities across the country and around the globe.
However, like all ventilators, VITAL does require patients to be sedated and have an oxygen tube inserted into their airway to breathe. Prior to the FDA's review, the VITAL prototype passed a critical test on April 21, 2020, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
Emergency Use
A front-facing portrait of VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Local...
Emergency Use A front-facing portrait of VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), a ventilator designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
"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 the 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, owns the patents and software for VITAL and is offering a free license for the device.
Eight U.S. companies have been selected to make the new ventilator tailored for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients. They are:
1. Vacumed, a division of Vacumetrics, Inc. in Ventura, California
2. Stark Industries, LLC in Columbus, Ohio
3. MVent, LLC, a division of Minnetronix Medical, in St. Paul, Minnesota
4. iButtonLink, LLC in Whitewater, Wisconsin
5. Evo Design, LLC in Watertown, Connecticut
6. DesignPlex Biomedical, LLC in Fort Worth, Texas
7. ATRON Group LLC in Dallas
8. Pro-Dex, Inc. in Irvine, California
“The VITAL team is very excited to see their technology licensed,” said Leon Alkalai, manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Partnerships and a member of the VITAL leadership team, according to SciTech Daily. “Our hope is to have this technology reach across the world and provide an additional source of solutions to deal with the on-going COVID-19 crisis.”
More about Covid19, Ventilator, NASAJPL, Caltech, Emergency Use Authorization
 
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