"We're working to pass the baton to the medical community, and ultimately patients, as quickly as possible."
A ventilator developed by NASA engineers and designed to save COVID-19 patients was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today under authority of the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization.
“This FDA authorization is a key milestone in a process that exemplifies the best of what government can do in a time of crisis,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
“Now that we have a design, we’re working to pass the baton to the medical community, and ultimately patients, as quickly as possible,” Fred Farina, chief innovation and corporate partnerships officer at Caltech, said in the statement.
The machine, dubbed VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), was developed by engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in just 37 days, and revealed to the public six days ago.
Its design is composed of far fewer parts than traditional ventilators and can be used in field hospitals as well.
“We specialize in spacecraft, not medical-device manufacturing,” JPL Director Michael Watkins said in a statement last week. “But excellent engineering, rigorous testing and rapid prototyping are some of our specialties.”
“This example shows what we can do when everyone works together to fight COVID-19,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in today’s statement. “We believe today’s action will increase availability of these life-saving medical devices.”
READ MORE: NASA-Developed Ventilator Authorized by FDA for Emergency Use [NASA]
More on the ventilators: NASA DEVELOPS VENTILATOR TO TREAT CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS