How the coronavirus has sparked innovation overnight

Overnight, automakers, bedding manufactures and more have transformed their facilities to produce personal protective equipment for healthcare providers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Ford is among the manufacturers that has produced millions of protective face shields for medical personnel using its existing warehouses.

On March 19, Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic called Ford to alert the automaker of a PPE shortage. Later that day, Ford had instructed designers to come up with ideas. The next day, Ford was consulting with Detroit hospitals on a project to develop face shields.

By March 21, Ford had found the necessary suppliers and settled on an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Foam, plastic and rubber began arriving to the plant on March 22. The following day, Ford had received FDA approval to produce the face shields.

Ford delivered its first batch of shields to hospitals March 24, less than a week after receiving a notice of the PPE shortage.

Throughout this time, Ford's executive team made late-night equipment delivers, manufacturing experts suggested better techniques and 300 UAW members volunteered to make the face shields.

In total, Ford has produced 2.4 million protective face shields.

More articles on healthcare innovation:
AtlantiCare CIO: Why the coronavirus pandemic has spurred 'real innovation' + how healthcare will move forward
During the coronavirus pandemic, 'innovation isn't optional, it's required': Key insights from UPMC Enterprise President Tal Heppenstall
5 innovation leaders on how COVID-19 has altered digital strategy at Houston Methodist, Penn Medicine & more

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