The Race to Build Coronavirus Ventilators
If the coronavirus pandemic has proven anything, it’s that hospitals across the world are technologically unprepared to handle an influx of patients with respiratory difficulties.
With the rapid transmissibility of the virus, hospitals are quickly finding themselves with a lack of ventilators to support all their incoming patients. These ventilators are critical tools for patients with severe respiratory infections like those caused by COVID-19.
Ventilators are also expensive to manufacture and sell for a steep cost, which has engineers scramming to develop efficient alternatives that can be produced quickly and cheaply.
Thankfully, companies are doing their part to assist engineers and manufacturers in the challenging quest to mass-produce ventilators for hospitals. The efforts are spreading worldwide.
Automotive manufacturers are redirecting their manufacturing altogether, either proactively or by request of governments. In the UK, the Department for Health and Social Care delivered ventilator blueprints to 60 car manufacturers and military engineers, including some of the biggest names, like Rolls-Royce and Jaguar. Their task is to manufacturer as many ventilators as possible, or at the very least, produce the necessary parts. The same initiative has been requested of manufacturers in India.
Online stores specializing in hard-material-cutting and wear-protection products are doing what they can to help engineers in the process as well. Ceratizit is providing technical and commercial support to any customers manufacturing components for ventilators including discounts and free test tools. This is the kind of initiative and support that can help manufacturers develop their ventilators faster and save more lives.
In the United States, ventilator makers are working hand-in-hand with manufacturers from a range of industries to produce ventilators as efficiently as possible. At the same time, the federal government is working to expand collaborations of this type to steer production efforts.
Every day, another large tech or manufacturing company is announcing how they too will join the global efforts to keep hospitals supplied and better able to handle the pandemic. Dyson, known for their vacuum cleaners, has redirected production to ventilators. Apple is donating millions of masks to healthcare workers, and Prada has halted all production on clothing to instead focus on making tens of thousands of hospital gowns and masks.
With the unprecedented challenges ahead, tech and manufacturing companies are showing us collaboration like never before and giving us hope that hospitals will be better prepared to take-on coronavirus symptoms.