Boston Scientific Plans Ventilator at About 5% of Rivals’ Price

(Bloomberg) -- Boston Scientific Corp. will start manufacturing a low-cost ventilator after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the technology an emergency use authorization amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The medical-device maker’s partner, the University of Minnesota, said in a release that the Coventor device, conceived by university researchers and an alumnus, is a low-cost backup alternative for doctors.

Ventilators are in short supply nationwide as hospitals react to the pandemic. The device has become critical to treat Covid-19 patients; historically they been used for people suffering from pneumonia and acute respiratory distress.

Boston Scientific Plans Ventilator at About 5% of Rivals’ Price

The initial Coventor prototype was adapted from an assortment of available parts, according to the university, lending to its desktop size and the ability to produce it inexpensively. A spokesperson for Boston Scientific said the devices would be sold at cost, for less than $1,000. Traditional ventilators can cost around $20,000 to $25,000.

“Because of its ease, simplicity and cost, we believe this concept can be scaled in many different designs,” said Aaron Tucker, a lab supervisor at the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center in Minneapolis and graduate student in the College for Science and Engineering.

Boston Scientific is the latest company to use its infrastructure to shore up the need for ventilators and equipment that help increase patients blood oxygen levels. Also this week, Sony Corp., General Motors Co., and Honda Motor Co Ltd. unveiled plans to start making components or machines.

The Minnesota researchers said the device’s specification will be made open source so other manufacturers globally can begin their regulatory and production processes. Boston Scientific will be the initial producer.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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