HHS investing in AI to help public health supply chain

On Feb. 24, the HHS released a list of current and planned supply chain initiatives that includes investing in AI to keep pace with public health demand.

The first phase of the coronavirus pandemic was marked by shortages of personal protective equipment and durable medical equipment, as well as limited access to COVID-19 diagnostics. To combat the shortages like these earlier ones, HHS plans to invest in artificial intelligence, robotics and automated assembly practices and technologies for manufacturers.

These technologies would include extruders for increasing production of synthetic fibers; computer numerical control and robotic automation assets for sewing and finishing gowns; and advanced humanlike headforms to speed respirator development timelines.

HHS suggests that the health supply chain industry can tap these new and emerging technologies to address potential domestic and foreign manufacturing shortages. 

With these investments, HHS said it aims to ensure that the U.S. is better prepared for future pandemics.


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