Leaders in the Fight Against COVID-19: Treating the Fallen

by Diana Headrick, on April 21, 2020

As the battle to save lives and defeat the novel coronavirus wages on, we are proud be helping Loftware customers get their therapeutic equipment to market in the world’s collective fight against COVID-19. Medical device market leaders like Medtronic, Philips Respironics and GE Healthcare have deftly increased production, while GM retooled an engine plant to manufacture ventilators.

Labels enable the movement of goods through the supply chain, providing the critical data needed to ensure efficient delivery to customers and document key product information.  For medical devices like ventilators, label requirements are even rigorous and must support compliance with global regulations FDA UDI, EU MDR and others. That’s why these companies take a strategic approach and use Loftware solutions to manage labeling.

Diversification of Manufacturing Operations

GE Healthcare is partnering with Ford to produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days. Licensing a simple ventilator design from Airon Corp that operates on air pressure and does not require electricity, GE Healthcare’s partnership with Ford leverages its medical equipment and healthcare expertise and Ford’s production and supply chain leadership. Ford plans to ramp up with about 1,500 ventilators by end of April, reaching 7,200 vents/week over the next few months. 

GM, with partner Ventec Life Systems, plans to produce ventilators at its engine plant in Kokomo, Indiana. Reducing the time to ramp from weeks and months to days, the companies expect to start shipping units in late April.

In addition to ramping up production of its ventilators, medical technology, services and solutions giant Medtronic is sharing the full design specifications for its Puritan Bennett (PB) 560 portable ventilator hardware to enable other manufacturers to rapidly increase ventilator production. Product manuals, design documents and schematics are available now on Medtronic’s website; software code will be available soon.

Philips Respironics, a U.S.-based division of Dutch multinational Philips, began ramping up production of hospital and home ventilators two months ago, doubling its usual 500 units per week, after the COVID-19 outbreak emerged in China.  Planning to double production again to reach 2,000 ventilators per week within two months and then double again to manufacture 4,000 per week by the end of the third quarter, Philips is aggressively managing its supply chain to source the more than 650 components that make up each device. The company has also increased hiring in its western Pennsylvania factories to add a third shift that will be assembling its Trilogy 100, 200 and Evo platform homecare and hospital ventilators 24/7.

Supporting Agility in the Supply Chain

We are proud of our customers’ impressive and altruistic efforts to deliver solutions that can save patients’ lives. While companies are racing to make ventilators in time for the critical care patients who need them, they must continue to meet global labeling regulations such as the FDA’s UDI and the EU MDR. Enterprise Labeling Solutions like Loftware’s Spectrum for Medical Device are designed to address the unique needs of medical device companies to create accurate and compliant labels, ensuring valuable and time-critical equipment reaches its destination quickly and efficiently. At Loftware, that is our mission.