America’s aeronautics and space research organization, NASA has elected three Indian organizations, Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bharat Forge Ltd and Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd to build a low-cost ventilator custom made for COVID-19 patients.
The model, which was designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers in just 37 days, obtained an emergency application authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration on April 30.
VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), the high-pressure ventilator was devised to utilize one-seventh the parts of a conventional ventilator, depending on parts readily obtainable in the supply chains.
It provides an easier, more affordable alternative for handling critical patients while clearing up conventional ventilators for those with the most critical COVID-19 symptoms. Its flexible configuration implies that it can also be adjusted for use in field hospitals.
The Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which holds the patents and software for VITAL, is allowing a free license for the device.
“The VITAL team is very excited to see its technology licensed,”
– Leon Alkalai,
the VITAL leadership team member
NASA has so far picked 21 firms – eight US companies and 13 international companies to build the ventilator produced with inputs from physicians and medical device manufacturers.