Fitbit, a California-based company that produces wearable technology devices, including smartwatches and activity trackers, is shifting its production to make emergency-use ventilators for patients infected with COVID-19, according to CEO James Park.
"There was a lot of concern about the shortage of ventilators and we realised we had expertise already around the supply chain", Park told CNBC News on Friday. "I think one of the advantages for us is that we have the infrastructure and manufacturing capability. We already make 10 million [wearable] devices per year, and we plan to leverage that to make deliver product at whatever volumes are needed."
According to Park, the company is already working on the devices, having consulted with physicians, and is going to share the technology with the US Food and Drug Administration in order to obtain Emergency Use Authorisation.
The company has not yet decided on the cost of the device, but Park said it should be the "most advanced" ventilators available and at a lower price than those of premium quality already existing.
In early April, US President Donald Trump said that ventilators were being produced in the thousands, and the US had "many to spare", offering to help other countries suffering from shortages amid the pandemic.