Medtronic on Wednesday announced that it’s received federal authorization to begin selling a lower-cost ventilator in the United States.
Known as the Puritan Bennett 560, the model will sell for under $10,000, the company said in a news release. The ventilator, which was developed in 2010, is now being sold in 35 countries, according to Medtronic, which is based in Ireland but has operational headquarters in Fridley.
The authorization from the Food and Drug Administration “allows Medtronic to provide another ventilator option to doctors and clinicians in the U.S. for patients with Covid-19,” the company said. Medtronic officials describe the PB 560 as a smaller, portable model.
The ventilators are slated to be produced at a Foxconn plant in Wisconsin. In an interview with CNBC, Medtronic CEO and chairman Omar Ishrak said production would begin in four to six weeks. The new models will be on top of Medtronic’s projected plans to produce about 1,000 ventilators a week in June.
Ishrak said that the newly produced ventilators will be distributed based on current disease models and allocate them by clinical need.
“We are moving them to the places of greatest need and right now the need is in the United States,” Ishrak said.
As the number of Covid-19 cases grow, ventilators are in high demand around the world. Omar Ishrak has said that the company significantly ramped up its output since January. “Today we are at 300 a week, which is double what we were at in January,” he told CNBC.
Meanwhile, Medtronic is also testing another ventilator model that could be controlled remotely. The company is working with Intel Corp. on that design.
Last month, Medtronic released the production specs for its PB560 ventilator so that manufacturers of all sizes and capabilities can pitch in. So far, there have been 90,000 requests for the design specifications, according to Ishrak.