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Orthopedic Companies Provide Help in Challenging Times

Last updated 5/12/2020

COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our healthcare system. A growing number of device manufacturers and suppliers have employed their expertise to help hospitals and, ultimately, patients. Here is a growing list of companies that have stepped up to provide everything from inventory management programs to regulatory and clinical trial support to personal protective gear. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Autocam Medical partnered with a team of doctors from the University of Michigan to build a device to split one ventilator among multiple patients. The company has created 25 fully validated, medical-grade aluminum, ready-to-go devices for any hospital that needs them, taking only four weeks from the first conceptual sketches.

ConnectSx is giving hospitals free access to their inventory management platform to manage critical supplies. ConnectSx delivers Software-as-a-Service to help orthopedic implant manufacturers manage their inventory, track individual devices and improve overall device use to improve patient outcomes. For hospitals, ConnectSx provides real-time access to device inventory, usage and procedural techniques to help minimize delays, errors and waste in the OR – promoting smoother surgeries and improved care.

Curvo Labs accelerated the release of Lookup by Curvo, a new unbiased clinical product research and market pricing solution built for hospital supply chain and value analysis professionals. Lookup by Curvo pulls data from FDA UDI, Device Recalls, MAUDE reports and Orthopedic Network News classifications and pairs them with market pricing details for unmatched transparency. No IT support or integration is required. Curvo is granting free access to this new product from now until July 31 for any healthcare provider organization.

Innovative Sterilization Technologies/ONE TRAY® has donated 500,000 sterilization filters to U.S. hospitals/first responders. These can be used as an alternate resource for personal protective equipment.

Life Spine
and its partner Gizmo Medical are working on a production quantity of surgical masks and gowns, and seeking ways to scale other medical equipment to meet the growing, urgent demand in the U.S. The companies are based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Materialise developed the Materialise NIP Connector, a device to convert standard equipment available in most hospitals, into a mask to facilitate breathing for patients by creating positive pressure in the lungs. These assembled masks allow clinicians to reduce the time patients need access to mechanical ventilators, which helps to reduce the strain on ventilator supplies.

Clinical research organization MCRA is launching an FDA regulatory and clinical trial advisory support/call center to help medical device companies that seek to pursue FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization regulatory pathway for devices or diagnostics for COVID-19. This approach was developed to permit access to unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products during times of emergency, when no adequate or approved alternatives are available.

Products that MCRA is supporting include, but are not limited to, personal protective equipment, test kits for clinic and at home uses, ventilators, cardiopulmonary monitoring systems and respiratory treatment devices.

Medline Industries committed to reprocessing 100,000 N95 respirators and other face masks per day in its facilities beginning as early as the first week of April. In March, the company began air freighting personal protective equipment (PPE) to the U.S. to cut three to four weeks out of the typical supply chain cycle. Medline also doubled its production of reusable facemasks and surgical gowns to supplement PPE supplies.

Fabricator and distributor Modern Plastics is mass-producing an Infection Control Face Mask at its facility in Shelton, Connecticut. The mask is made from high-performance, clear PETG plastic (.020” or .030” thick) and is bendable yet sturdy and virtually unbreakable. Combining clarity with durability, this plastic sheet provides clear, unobstructed views and offers significant chemical resistance. Scaled pricing is available, and large scale delivery will begin March 30.

NN, Inc.'s Paragon Medical has launched reusable intubation shields for healthcare workers. The intubation shield provides a barrier between the healthcare professional and the patient during intubation and extubation procedures to reduce exposure to aerosolized airborne contaminants.

OrthoSpine Partners, a global orthopedics, spine and biologics value-acceleration consulting firm, partnered with Swift Response, makers of Flex Seal® products, to help first responders. A substantial donation, along with an ample supply of Flex Tape, will support production of a life-saving device known as the Intubation Box. Over 100 boxes were distributed across the U.S. in the first week of April, alone.

In March, packaging provider Placon scaled up production in two of their manufacturing facilities to help get plastic personal protective equipment to healthcare workers. In May, the company announced the Face Shield Alliance with Portage Plastics and Paradise Plastics joining in. Production of face shields is currently at 4.5 million units per week.

Smith+Nephew is contracting with the U.K. government to build OxVent ventilators. The devices are the result of a collaboration of scientists, clinicians and medical technology manufacturers from the University of Oxford, King’s College London and Smith+Nephew. The ventilator has been designed to allow for large scale production. The OxVent ventilator will be made at Smith+Nephew’s Advanced Wound Management facility in Hull, UK.