mHUB Companies and Innovation Teams Fighting COVID-19
Across the country, companies and entrepreneurs are pivoting to develop and accelerate technologies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. In March, we put out an open call in collaboration with 1871 and MATTER to rally the tech ecosystem around fighting Coronavirus. The energy and enthusiasm we've seen in response is inspiring and we're continuing to talk to entrepreneurs, front line experts, civic leaders and influencers every day to accelerate the development of life-saving technology. See below for a list of new products and existing technology from mHUB with direct application to challenges posed by the pandemic.
The call is still open. Join us in the fight against COVID-19.
mHUB Personal Protective and Medical Equipment Innovation Teams
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, mHUB’s community of makers and physical product entrepreneurs has turned their attention to developing solutions to increase the supply of vital personal protective and medical equipment to support the region’s healthcare system. Entrepreneurs are working tirelessly, and-in-hand with clinicians and manufacturers, to develop life-saving technology quickly. Projects include:
AMBU Bag Compression Device (ABCD): A machine that automatically squeezes a standard AMBU bag to replace manual squeezing in situations when the bag needs to be squeezed for long durations. Adjustments can be made to control the volume of air delivered to the patient's lungs, the number of breaths per minute, the speed of the breaths and the interval between breaths in and breaths out as a ratio. This uses simple automation components that are readily available, low cost and quickly scalable. The project team includes Bill Fienup, Director of Innovation Services, mHUB; Henry Africano, Founder of HANK Industries; Mike Rafferty, Owner of Rafferty Engineering; Nemera (Insight Product Development); Northwestern University; Innoblative; and Brightseed.
Powered Air-Purifying Respirator (PAPR) Device: Solution uses a diving mask, custom 3D-printed adapters, standard hoses, and a battery-powered filter box from off-the-shelf components. The device is easy to sanitize and adjust, it’s even easier to procure. The project team includes Roger Ady, CTO and Co-Founder of Jiobit; Mitul Patel CEO at MP Consulting; and PDT, an Astronics Company.
Open Source Face Shield: Over one weekend, we began working on a prototype for face shields to respond to a request from Northwestern. Our team had a working prototype within 2 hours – and pilots in hospital by Monday. A week later, the first shipment of 500 was in the hands of frontline healthcare workers at Northwestern and we are producing at a rate of about 1,500/day now and can potentially scale up to 100,000 each week with manufacturing partners. We’re working with health systems to assess broader demand. The project team included Bill Fienup, Director of Innovation Services, mHUB; David Mirkhaef, Prototyping Technician; Mitch Muller, Founder at SquareOne Produce Development; and Mihai Hogea, Co-Founder of Pepper Life, Inc.
Intubation Shield / Protective Dome: This novel PPE device covers a patient’s head during intubation without limiting range of motion or visibility for the clinician. The device shields healthcare workers from aerosols from coughing, is low-cost, and can be sanitized and reused easily. The prototypes were given to University of Chicago, Northwestern, and Norwegian-American hospitals for clinical feedback. The project team includes Mitch Muller, Founder of SquareOne Product Development; Alexander Chan, Founder at Bakspacer ; and Matt McGregor, Founder at Karman Innovations.
N95 Mask: Reusable mask strap is made out of silicon, a more durable material than traditionally-used elastic and a disposable filter. The product utilizes strong, non-traditional materials to avoid disrupting the current supply chain of N95 masks. The project team includes Luke Gray, Co-Founder of KOA; Mike Rafferty, Founder of Rafferty Engineering; Brian Donlin, Founder at Brian Donlin Design; Henry Africano, Founder of HANK Industries, and Carrie McGrath (Leman), Director of Research at Loring Human Factors.
mHUB Companies with Technology to Mitigate the Impact
REMOTE MONITORINGNeopenda: Neopenda has developed neoGuard, a wireless and remote patient monitoring system designed for resource-constrained environments. It continuously measures respiration rate, pulse rate, temperature, and oxygen saturation through a simple wearable device, and wirelessly connects to a centralized dashboard on a tablet that displays real-time vitals of every patient in a unit. In essence, neoGuard offers the ability to: provide crucial vital signs data necessary to triage patients, continuously monitor confirmed and at-risk COVID-19 patients while decreasing iatrogenic spread of infection and reducing the use of scarce PPE, allow medical personnel to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutics on an individual level and aid in disposition planning.
SANITATIONAquamox: Aquamox’s products convert water into a powerful and universal sanitizer that is extremely effective against all pathogens such as bacteria, spores, fungi, and viruses. The team is in the process of designing and developing a proprietary device that harnesses the unique properties of diamond to generate aqueous ozone. These ozone generators can be integrated into a variety of devices, such as in portable sprayers or fixtures for sinks/hoses/etc., to give the user on-demand access to a powerful sanitizer that will never run out. Ozone is already generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA and can be used to sanitize food (fruit and vegetables) and surfaces. It could potentially work to effectively sanitize hands and surfaces, without the side effects of harsh chemical sanitizers, like alcohol. In light of COVID-19, Aquamox technology can be used as a powerful and less harmful sanitizer for use in care facilities, homes, office spaces and elsewhere to keep commonly used surfaces clean as we return to gathering.
GEOFENCING AND PROXIMITY MONITORINGCareband: CareBand uses wearable technology to reduce death and injuries due to dementia-related wandering while enhancing the quality of life for those living with dementia. The team has now pivoted its technology to enable contact tracing and geofencing. Through a combination of LoRaWAN, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), GPS, and several other sensors, the end-to-end system allows for indoor and outdoor location tracking with high accuracy, custom alerts via SMS or call, and historical data for disease spread. The production-ready, affordable system can be used by governments, system integrators, value-added resellers, and others.
MANUFACTURING AND MACHINE UTILIZATION
McPond: With a shortage of PPE and Medical Equipment such as ventilators, technology and manufacturing can facilitate demand. McPond.com connects idle and unused machinery with users who have a short term or temporary need and can fill this niche by identifying idle machines that could easily be put to use in coordinating PPE/Medical Equipment production or crucial supplies as the world scrambles to strengthen and expand the medical resource supply-chain in the face of this global pandemic. The use of B2B sharing of these machines can contribute to keeping the economy going, supporting the manufacturing sector as a whole and most importantly provide essential goods and services for those most in need on the front lines fighting COVID-19.