Philippine conglomerate Ayala to produce low-cost ventilators for Covid-19 patients
MANILA, NNA – Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc., a unit of Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp., will manufacture low-cost ventilators to make treating Covid-19 patients less expensive.
Integrated Micro-Electronics plans to produce a type of ventilator it calls the Ventura Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device, which continuously applies mild air pressure, the company told NNA in an e-mail.
The plan answers a Philippine government call for local firms to manufacture low-cost ventilators and other medical gear to help patients breathe. More than 13,000 people have contracted Covid-19 in the Philippines and fewer than 3,000 have recovered. The device is ready to start clinical tests, the company said.
Integrated Micro-electronics says its ventilators can help Covid-19 patients 60 to 70 percent of the time, according to IMI’s press release, citing a report of the University College London Hospital.
The electronics maker expects to mass produce the ventilators by August and it’s now talking with Philippine government agencies about how many to make. The company has yet to disclose costs, output volume and a unit price.
As the government gradually relaxes lockdowns, some worry that the healthcare system lacks capacity to handle new infections in the coming weeks.
The Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology is also developing low-cost ventilators to ensure a steady supply.
Ayala’s arm is working with De La Salle University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Health Technologies to localize manufacturing of the ventilators.
British regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has approved the Ventura device for use in Britain, IMI said, but it refused to provide further details about discussions with local regulators.
The University College London Hospital and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, a subsidiary of automaker Daimler AG, have licensed the ventilator design for Covid-19 to IMI, according to IMI.