COVID-19: Opportunity to strengthen alliances

COVID-19: Opportunity to strengthen alliances

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Without a doubt, the current pandemic challenges not only the health sector, but all sectors, to find new ways to act and take advantage of available technologies. Also, this historical situation has brought considerable attention to trade in medical products, and specifically trade in products for prevention, testing and treatment.

In times of a health emergency like this, "no company will be able to meet the current demands of global health systems," said Bob White, executive vice president and chairman of Medtronic's minimally invasive therapy group.

The North American medical device company acknowledges that the demand for ventilators  has far exceeded supply, but, with all manufacturers increasing their production and through partnerships with governments, hospitals and global health organizations, Medtronic has committed itself Bringing more ventilators to the right locations in the world to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19.

For its part, the Dutch Philips has taken measures such as the hiring of additional personnel in its factories or the increase in work shifts to cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week to produce the most requested products as monitors, vital signs, ventilators, and supplies for invasive and non-invasive ventilation.

"We are working tirelessly to double our respirator production capacity in the next eight weeks and quadruple it in the third quarter," said Frans van Houten, Philips CEO.

Facing the health crisis, the Dutch company maintains close collaboration with its suppliers to guarantee the supply of the necessary materials for the requested devices, takes advantage of its innovation capacity to reuse ranges of similar products to attend the  demand and works with independent manufacturers to carry part of the increase in production.

In the case of the American Becton Dickinson (BD) and the Spanish Certest Biotec, both joined forces to develop the virus detection kit with the BD MAX system, which operates with an automated platform to extract nucleic acids and PCR in real time with an initial cost of 50 euros. Its great differential value is that it reduces the diagnosis time and avoids errors, thus helping clinical laboratories, hospitals and diagnostic centers in Europe to identify and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Another recently announced partnership was between GE Healthcare and Ford Motor Co. to scale fan production. Through this collaboration, Ford will provide its technical and production expertise with the goal of manufacturing a simplified design of the existing GE Healthcare ventilator. This new system would be built to address urgent needs during the pandemic, equipped with the essential functions required to safely treat patients with COVID-19.

In response to the respirator shortage for healthcare professionals caused by the coronavirus outbreak, 3M and Ford Motor Co. partnered to increase production of these elements. 3M has doubled its global production of N95 masks, with up to 35 million per month in the United States with more than 90% designated for healthcare workers.

Examples such as those mentioned above and many others conceived between various companies in different sectors, show how the health industry has a greater scope to strengthen its businesses, improve business alliances and take advantage of the immediate response opportunities that this crisis demands. sanitary. However, Understandably,  governments are taking protective measures to stem the pandemic of the virus. Some of these measures may inadvertently impact the flow of critical medical goods across territories.

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