Information Sharing by the Technology Exchange Lab in Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Author
Éadaoin Ilten
Published
05/06/20
Tags
[Technology] [Solutions] [COVID] [Pandemic] [Ventilators] [medical-engineering]

Technology Exchange Lab (TEL) is a 501(C)(3) corporation based in Cambridge, MA. TEL is dedicated to bringing communities out of poverty by driving the adoption of innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions that improve the lives of the least economically advantaged members of society around the world.

Information sharing is at the heart of our mission at the Technology Exchange Lab. Every day, through our online database, we provide unbiased information on innovations that can improve lives around the world. These can be high-tech, such as the 3nethra, a portable ophthalmology device that allows an optometrist to perform eye exams at any location, or low-tech like the tippy-tap, a DIY the solution uses sticks and a jug to create a hands-free hand-washing station.

When we learned of the global shortage of ventilators to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic we recognized immediately that the gap, while significant in the US, would be even larger in less developed regions, resulting in tragic loss of life, and severe stress on impoverished cities and communities. While developed countries are working currently to “flatten the curve” as the infection peaks hit their cities, peaks in other regions predicted to occur in the coming months leave only small windows of opportunity for governments and health authorities to invest in the much-needed ventilators–– if they can find viable and cost-effective solutions. At TEL we knew innovators around the world would rise to this challenge quickly. In response to this crisis, dozens of medical-engineering initiatives have launched in recent weeks. More are coming on stream daily.  

In order to assist with informing front-liners and others about this wave of new projects, TEL has created a COVID-dedicated section of our website. Here we collate and curate up-to-date information on products, prototypes, and design specifications of ventilators and other equipment, both open and closed source initiatives. We are in regular contact with the teams listed to ensure accuracy and learn the technical specifications of their prototypes. The information on our site is, as always, free to all, in a user-friendly yet data-packed format. The section also serves as a virtual community for feedback and questions from the field. 

At TEL we are uniquely prepared to gather, evaluate, and disseminate information on both new and established devices. Our professional team connects daily with innovators and suppliers. Our interactive website is also accessible in limited-bandwidth regions. We aim to support all responsible innovation in this international effort, helping to ensure solutions are developed swiftly and efficiently.  

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Our collaborators in this effort include the Ventilator Verification Project and the Ventilator Project with more relationships forming daily. Please visit tel.ngo/covid19 to view the indexed innovations and to learn how you can support this initiative please visit us here