In times when the whole world is in desperate need of readily available ventilators, NASA has come up with simpler, more affordable piece of tech that can be modified for field hospitals and go a long way in assisting the fight against coronavirus. The newly designed ventilator called 'VITAL' (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), uses one-seventh the parts of a traditional ventilator and relies on parts already available in the supply chain.
"It offers a simpler, more affordable option for treating critical patients while freeing up traditional ventilators for those with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals," NASA said while announcing that 8 US-based manufacturers had been selected to put together the final product.
"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."
The prototype was designed in NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, USA.
NASA also added that it is evaluating international manufacturers from countries including India.
Indian companies in contention are -- Alpha Design Technologies, Bharat Forge and Medha Servo Drives.
"VITAL performed well in simulation testing with both precise and reproducible results," said Dr. Tisha Wang, clinical chief of the UCLA Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
The nature of COVID-19, that it attacks the lungs in the latter stages and in turn makes a person breathe heavy, has brought about a sudden surge in the use of ventilators across the world causing a severe scarcity of the product.
Over 6 billion people worldwide have been infected by the virus while 366,000 have died.