Medtronic shares ventilator design to help global efforts to meet rising demand amid COVID-19 pandemic

Medtronic on Monday said it is publicly sharing design specifications for the Puritan Bennett 560 (PB 560) portable ventilator in a bid to allow other companies to explore producing it rapidly to help meet demand driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. "Over the past few weeks, we have ramped up production of our Puritan Bennett 980 (PB 980) ventilators, but we also know we can do more," said Bob White, president of Medtronic's minimally invasive therapies group, adding that "by openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against COVID-19."

According to Medtronic, the PB 560 ventilator, introduced in 2010 and sold in 35 countries, provides airway support for adult and paediatric patients, and can be used both in clinical and at-home settings, as well as providing mobile respiratory support. Medtronic suggested that the PB 560 design makes it a "solid ventilation solution" for manufacturers, inventors, start-ups and academic institutions looking to quickly ramp up ventilator production. Aside from the now-available design specifications, the company said software code and other information for PB 560 will follow shortly.

Medtronic noted that its decision is consistent with recent FDA guidance, as well as responses from other international government agencies, aimed at expanding the availability of ventilators and other respiratory devices during the pandemic.

The company also stated Monday that since the outset of COVID-19 in early 2020 in China, it has boosted production of its high-performance ventilators by more than 40%. Specifically, it said production levels for its PB 980 ventilators have risen from about 100 pre-pandemic, to more than 225 ventilators per week to date, with plans to double that again to more than 500 per week. "In addition, [we are] working with third parties to explore other non-traditional mechanisms to increase production of ventilators, including providing [our] intellectual property and ventilator designs to the public for third-party ventilator production," the company said.

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