March 31, 2020
Medical equipment company Medtronic announced on March 30 that it would publicly share the design specifications for a ventilator product, in order to enable other companies to explore producing it rapidly to help meet demand driven by the novel coronavirus.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the company posted online the design documents, service manuals and other information for its Puritan Bennett 560, which is sold in 35 countries. The company plans to post software code and other information shortly.
What’s more, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports, Medtronic will get an assist from automaker Tesla Inc., which will convert a New York production plant to churn out medical devices instead of solar power cells.
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak discussed the partnership in an interview with CNBC, while Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter, “Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible. We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York.”
Medtronic has ramped up production of another of its ventilators in recent weeks, the Puritan Bennett 980.
“By openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against Covid-19,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Minimally Invasive Therapies group at Medtronics.
Ventilators are needed for people severely ill with the coronavirus who have trouble breathing on their own. Hospitals and state officials have increased orders for the machines, and manufacturers have boosted production, but some health experts say there may not be enough to meet a surge in cases in coming weeks.
Research contact: @WSJ