Open access hardware & 3D printing can help tackle demand for health supplies

Open access hardware & 3D printing can help tackle demand for health supplies

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | April 28, 2020 3D Printing Health IT

Some blueprints are already being used to provide support to the NHS. A company in Portslade which produce face visors have recently removed their patent and license and asked for support from anyone with a 3D printer in order to produce more to meet demand and provide protection to NHS staff.

But for those unverified designs, testing and approval can be a lengthy process.

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Andre Chagas said: "One thing governments could do right now, is to figure out a process in which we can legitimately fast track the testing and certification of tools which are in short supply."

"For instance, in Spain a group is already testing their ventilator designs with support from the government. While each country will have different rules and certifications to meet, this is a crucial moment for us to get together and figure out a single set of certification so that implementation can move faster."

Prof. Tom Baden added: "If governments can support this through financial support to ramp up production of the best tools, that would be incredibly useful right now.

"But asides from financial support, we also need support from those who actually know about the use of these tools, rather than just their design. To make this equipment properly and safely, we don't just need tech-savvy people building it. We need people in the healthcare sector who know how these tools should work and can actually test them. These people should contact ongoing products to see if they can help."

A team at the University of Sussex team recently finished creating 100 face shields which are to be tested within the NHS. Once the design is approved the University will launch a full-scale production operation, hoping to produce 1000 face shields a day by early May.

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