OfferZen Updates: COVID-19 Project: Rapidly Manufactured Medical Equipment
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COVID-19 Project: Rapidly Manufactured Medical Equipment

By Stephen van der Heijden

This project forms part of a wider mission to get the tech community involved in projects that can reduce the impacts of COVID-19.

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Project background

A massive problem seen around the world is the shortage of medical equipment in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. We’re anticipating the same thing will happen in South Africa very soon. Offerzen is proactively collaborating with the steering team from Helpful Engineering to predict which medical equipment the country will need.

Helpful Engineering is a community of engineers, developers and medical experts helping to address the COVID-19 pandemic globally. They are running a peer-review of projects around the world to find out which items are most useful to manufacture and also the best practices to do so.

A South African sub-group has been set up and is specifically looking to use 3D-printing to address our expected shortage of medical equipment.

The preliminary goals of this project are:

  • to understand global best practices for the rapid manufacture of health equipment needed to combat COVID-19
  • to bring together funding, execution capacity and, eventually, government stakeholders to ensure effective creation and distribution of this equipment

Examples of the types of items being considered are Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation Systems (RMVS), ventilator parts and other protective and health equipment that can be 3D-printed on a large scale. The RMVS, for instance, can be used in and out of hospitals around the country to provide mechanical ventilation to patients who are physically unable to breath. This could mean the difference between life and death for some coronavirus patients.

Who can help and get involved

We are still in the evaluation phase with this project. At the moment we’re looking for:

  • Project managers/owners
  • Health advisors and experts on the matter
  • Industrial manufacturers with capacity and rapid production capabilities
  • Anyone else who thinks they may be able to contribute
Get Involved!

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