Eight U.S. companies have been selected by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to produce machines that are based on a high-pressure ventilator technology to aid in the fight against COVID-19.
The manufacturers will receive free licenses for the Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally prototype JPL engineers created over a 37-day period, NASA said Tuesday.
Caltech, which operates the lab for NASA, is the owner of VITAL software and patents.
The device uses commercially available components and only one-seventh of a traditional ventilator's composition. It is designed for use on patients with milder coronavirus symptoms and can be adapted for field hospital use, according to the space agency.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to the JPL-made technology.
"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," said Leon Alkalai, manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Partnerships.
The domestic VITAL manufacturers are:
- ATRON Group
- DesignPlex Biomedical
- Evo Design
- Minnetronix Medical
- Stark Industries
JPL also began to explore ventilator manufacturing opportunities in foreign countries such as Brazil, India, Malaysia and Mexico.