New Delhi: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California on Friday (May 29, 2020) selected eight US manufacturers along with 13 International companies to make a new ventilator tailored for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.
There were three Indian companies that were selected among the 13 International manufacturers from countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Egypt, UAE, Turkey, and Malaysia.
The three Indian companies that were selected are:
1. Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd.
2. Bharat Forge Ltd.
3. Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd.
The device, called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), was developed by engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in just 37 days.
The high-pressure ventilator was designed to use one-seventh the parts of a traditional ventilator, relying on parts already available in supply chains.
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.
The compressed-air design has also been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a ventilator Emergency Use Authorization and is currently under review.
Leon Alkalai, manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Partnerships and a member of the VITAL leadership team said that the VITAL team is very excited to see their technology licensed.
He added, "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."
A prototype of the JPL device was successfully tested by the Human Simulation Lab in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Mount Sinai on April 23, 2020.
A modified design, which uses compressed air and can be deployed by a greater range of hospitals, was recently tested at the UCLA Simulation Center in Los Angeles.
Dr Tisha Wang, clinical chief of the UCLA Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine said that the VITAL performed well in simulation testing with both precise and reproducible results.
Dr Tisha added, "In addition, the setup and operation of the ventilator was quick and user-friendly. The UCLA team commends JPL for actively contributing to the COVID-19 response and successfully addressing one of the key medical needs in the sickest group of patients."