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COVID-19 Impact on Mechanical Ventilators in the Healthcare Industry

  • Healthcare
  • Jun 19, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Mechanical Ventilators in the Healthcare Industry


The people whose lungs are severely compromised due to infection and are suffering from respiratory problems require respiratory support and this is aided by medical equipment known as a ventilator. The ventilator uses positive pressure to supply oxygen to the lungs through inner pathways and to completely monitor the patients' breathing cycle. The humidifier is used in the ventilator to add moisture and heat to the oxygen to match the temperature of the patient's body. The lungs of patients requiring mechanical ventilation due to COVID-19 are so inflamed that the oxygen can not reach the alveoli when the patient breathes, and the mechanical ventilator acts to force the oxygen flow to these small air passages under pressure.

There are two types of medical ventilation:

  • Invasive mechanical ventilation, and
  • Non-invasive ventilation.

Invasive mechanical ventilation uses an endotracheal tube that is inserted into the trachea for the flow of oxygen to the patient's lungs, while non-invasive ventilation does not use an internal tube. Non-invasive ventilation devices, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and oxygen hoods, are also used in the management of less severe COVID-19 patients to avoid the need for mechanical ventilators that are invasive.


COVID-19 has largely forced several countries to impose different types of lockups on their citizens, although conditions vary from country to country. India and China are among the few countries that eliminated several potential committees that affected several markets and their economies.

As Asian healthcare industries rely on China for medical devices and cuts, there is a significant impact on costs because medical devices are not properly available.

In addition, a large number of medical devices are being produced at different locations and there is a decrease in the supply of medical equipment due to restrictions on movement from one location to another. Hence, costs have increased with different medical devices.


The coronavirus attacks people’s lungs, affecting their ability to breathe. Ventilators, which deliver air to the lungs through a tube placed in the windpipe, are a crucial tool to keep these patients alive.


Source: Worldometer

As the numbers of cases are rising day by day, there is an urgent demand of these ventilators to prevent the number of death.

The U.S., India and other countries are facing a critical shortage of life saving machines. According to a report, there is a need of 880,000 more ventilators to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. In the U.K., it was estimated that there were 5,000 adult ventilators and 900 children ventilators, and there was a need of atleast 30,000 more ventilators. In India, there are presently 40,000 ventilators and in the worst case scenario it needs around 40, 00,000 ventilators.

There is no way to plug this gap soon as there is a shortage of these ventilators due to the ban on aviation all over the world. The ventilator manufacturers had to import a lot of parts to make a ventilator which is becoming difficult in the challenging times. The governments of different countries are encouraging the local manufactures to fulfill the incredible demand but these manufacturers are far from reaching the goal.


A large number of challenges are being faced by various companies due to the coming of the novel coronavirus, one such issue is the uncertainty surrounding the impact of COVID-19 on medical device industry supply chains.

The supply bottlenecks due to ban on the movement from one place to another is creating quite a negative impact on the Mechanical Ventilators Market. Moreover, due to lockdown there is also a shortage of laborers which makes the production of ventilators also a challenge.

Also, there is an acute shortage of the raw materials that are a prerequisite for setting up the mechanical ventilators due to which the prices have gone up twice or thrice of the original amount which again makes it very challenging to procure ventilators.

Much effort is urgently needed to reduce and minimize the gap between the requirement and the supply of ventilators. There are currently very few companies worldwide which have expertise in the production of ventilators. These companies' suppliers need support for maximizing the supply of the necessary raw materials to produce the equipment. In addition, efforts should be made to encourage the development of cost-effective ventilators in addition to more new industries.


As the dependency on China for the medical device is recognized as a threat to the national security, the central government of India has taken measures for in-house production of these materials.

To cope with current situation, the local manufacturers of ventilators are producing ventilators for very low costs. For instance, Dynamatic Technologies is making a USD 33 ventilator that does not need electricity to function, while AgVa is aiming to make 10,000 ventilators by mid-May, priced under USD 2,000. Also, AgVa is collaborating with automaker Maruti Suzuki and state-run Bharat Electronics to make parts required to set up ventilators.

While in Germany, where about 25,000 ventilators are now available nationwide, the government ordered 10,000 from a domestic manufacturer, Dräger, to be made over the next year.

On 22 March, the FDA gave car manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Tesla the go-ahead to make the devices to alleviate the shortage after relaxing regulation.

Fitbit has launched a low cost emergency ventilator in the trying times of Covid 19. Fitbit Flow is a compact machine and is made from laser cut aluminum. It doesn’t require skilled professional and can be operated by volunteers which is very helpful in this strenuous time.


S. No. Ventilators in Covid-19 pandemic Role of Ventilators and Challenges
1 Ventilator and its importance in COVID-19 pandemic Ventilators are life saving machines required for severely ill COVID-19 patients
• Two types of ventilation may be used in these patients: a) Invasive and b) Non-invasive ventilation
• Invasive ventilation is superior
2 Challenge of shortage and the cost of ventilators • There is an acute shortage of ventilators for COVID-19 patients
• Their high cost and availability is a challenge
3 Effects of shortages of ventilators • Severely sick people are getting affected from getting the optimal treatment
• Innovative means of manufacturing and optimising their use is being tried out
4 Solutions for overcoming the shortage of Ventilators: • Several engineering companies are being roped in to manufacture the ventilators
• Medical specialists trying to optimise the use of ventilators
• Alternative methods of ventilation like an Ambu Bag are being used in innovative ways
5 Role of 3-D Printer technology in ventilator production • The use of 3D printing in manufacturing the parts of ventilator quickly and cheaply seem promising

Source: PubMed


Therefore, it can be concluded that the mechanical ventilators market are positively avoiding this epidemic. It is believed that the spread of the corona virus will continue to increase and accelerate and so will the demand of these life saving machines.