Fighting COVID-19: NASA Develops High-Pressure Ventilator
New York: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed an easy-to-build high-pressure ventilator specially suited for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Named VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), the ventilator was tested successfully earlier this week at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, the city which is the epicentre of COVID-19 in the US.
According to NASA engineers, VITAL is designed to treat patients with milder symptoms, thereby keeping the limited supply of traditional ventilators available for patients with more severe symptoms of the deadly coronavirus, which has so far killed over 50,000 people in the USA and 193,200 across the world.
“We specialise in spacecraft, not medical-device manufacturing,” said Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Michael Watkins.
“But excellent engineering, rigorous testing and rapid prototyping are some of our specialties. When people at JPL realized they might have what it takes to support the medical community and the broader community, they felt it was their duty to share their ingenuity, expertise and drive,” Watkins said.