An opinion piece co-authored by Sen. Ron Wyden details biomeds’ difficulties in repairing medical equipment compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions from OEMs, and how the Right to Repair Act could help, reports HealthExec.

The COVID crisis has swollen the demand for repairs to hospitals’ overworked medical equipment at the same time it has, in effect, shrunken the field of qualified repair workers.

The gap largely owes to the manufacturers of the original equipment, aka OEMs. These powerful players are restricting travel for their maintenance and repair technicians due to the pandemic. Yet they’re simultaneously using licensing contracts, copyright laws and other means to keep some unintentional competitors—namely hospitals’ in-house clinical engineering departments—from doing the work.

That’s according to an opinion piece published Oct. 12 in Slate.

One of the article’s two authors is Ron Wyden, a Democratic senator from Oregon who introduced legislation to break the impasse in early August.

Read more in HealthExec and read the entire article in Slate.