As part of the medical technology industry’s multi-front battle to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) has launched VentConnect (www.VentConnect.org), a platform connecting ventilator companies with component suppliers to help quickly scale production and distribution of these vital devices.
The new platform was developed pro bono with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Google, and other industry alliances and partners. AIA represents more than 300 high-tech manufacturers and suppliers of all sizes across a range of sectors. In addition to AIA members, more than 50 companies from a range of industries are contributing as suppliers to VentConnect.
“The medical technology industry is stepping up to meet the unprecedented demand from hospitals and patients across the country for ventilators,” says AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker. “Our companies have added shifts, started new production lines, and hired new workers so that soon our capacity will be tenfold what it was before the pandemic. But to keep producing these life-saving devices, our member companies need a steady stream of key components from beyond the normal supply chain, and that’s where this new online platform developed with the AIA and Google will be of tremendous value.
Jonathan Rennert, CEO of ZOLL Medical Corp., also spoke out about the new platform, commenting: “In just one month, ZOLL quintupled our production of ventilators, on the way to a 25-fold overall increase, to meet the demands of this global crisis. This rapid mobilization to save lives puts tremendous strain on the supply chain, so the ability to safely, securely, and quickly find and communicate with qualified suppliers through VentConnect is a game changer—and it will help save lives.”
Ventilator manufacturers can sign up on the VentConnect site and create secure spreadsheets identifying parts and components that are in short supply. Moreover, suppliers wishing to help can complete a brief application on their company’s capacity and materials. And manufacturers can review supplier applications and decide whether to share their supply list needs. The manufacturer and supplier can then separately choose whether to enter an agreement to provide the needed materials.
While the immediate objective of the new platform is to support the production of ventilators and vent-critical devices that may have parts and materials constraints, the platform—VentConnect.org—may serve to address additional challenges that may arise related to ventilator logistics, distribution, or other operational needs.