NASA JPL Ventilator Goes From Development to On-Site Testing in 37 Days

Add the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to the list of groups that have re-focused their efforts to help combat the global coronavirus pandemic. The same organization that put men on the moon has now developed a prototype ventilator that passed simulated human testing last week at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, an epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S.

According to NASA, the high-pressure ventilator, named VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), is composed of fewer parts than traditional ventilators. And since most of the parts used in the device are currently available through existing supply chains, VITAL can be manufactured more rapidly and maintained more easily than other solutions. Moreover, its design allows it to be modified for use in field hospitals and other non-traditional settings. However, VITAL is intended to only last three to four months and was specifically designed for COVID-19 patients.

NASA will be offering a free license for VITAL so that medical equipment manufacturers can start getting them into the hands of the medical facilities that most need them.

Here’s a video that NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) released about the development of the new ventilator:

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Press release from NASA: NASA Develops COVID-19 Prototype Ventilator in 37 Days

Scott Jung

Scott Jung (@scottjung) is a Silicon Valley-based medical and health technology reporter and advocate, with a focus on wearables, telemedicine, and health technology in emerging countries. He has represented Medgadget at CES and Digital Health Summit, TEDMED, and Stanford Medicine X, and SXSW. Always on the lookout for innovative medical technology worldwide, Scott has been invited to visit Colombia, Poland, and other countries around the world to share how medtech is enriching the lives of its people.

Scott holds a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Southern California and an M.S. degree in Medical Product Development Management from San José State University.

Scott is always looking for the next big thing in medical technology and digital health. Interested in helping him transform lives? Get in touch with him at