Fitbit eyes ventilator space as the coronavirus crisis rages on

Fitbit's CEO James Park told CNBC that the company will be submitting its technology to the FDA soon.
By Laura Lovett
04:14 pm
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About a week after Fitbit released its disappointing Q1 financials, its CEO James Park announced to CNBC that the company is looking to the ventilator space, in a temporary effort to address the coronavirus pandemic. 

The news, which was confirmed by sources at Fitbit, means major changes are in the works for the wearable company. Park told CNBC that the company will be submitting its new technology to the FDA shortly. The wearable company reportedly sought advice from doctors at some of America’s major hospitals and is considering making a sophisticated yet low-cost vent. 

Currently, certain technologies that support the coronavirus efforts, such as ventilators, have a more relaxed path through the FDA than in typical times. In March, the HHS secretary greenlighted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for ventilators and other medical devices related to treating the virus. 

WHY IT MATTERS 

While there is no cure for COVID-19, medical providers can provide supportive care, according to the CDC. Ventilators are one of the ways providers have sought to treat and support patients with the coronavirus. 

Within the last few months, medical providers called on the government and companies to produce more ventilators to address the growing need. However, this surge in production could lead to a glut, the Associated Press reports.

THE LARGER TREND 

On May 7, Fitbit released its earnings summary, revealing that it missed its total revenue goal by $80.39 million. 

Last November, Google announced its plans to purchase Fitbit for $7.35 per share in cash, or a total of roughly $2.1 billion. That deal still appears to be going forward, as Google would have to pay Fitbit a termination fee of $250 million if it decides to back out, according to the document.