Due to the coronavirus crisis, there is a major concern in many parts of the world that hospitals will run out of ventilators to keep victims of COVID-19 alive.
An appeal by the UK government has resulted in a number of companies not traditionally associated with medical equipment pooling their talents to mass manufacture thousands of ventilators for the NHS.
The consortium of major UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses come from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors and ina blog post Microsoft explained how they are contributing
The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium has agreed to design, build, and test a Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System and components at sites across the UK.
Microsoft is working with its partners Avanade, Content & Code, IT Lab and PTC to support the consortium’s work. It is giving the consortium free access to Teams so that companies can easily message, talk, hold training sessions and share documents from anywhere.
In addition, Microsoft HoloLens and mobile devices will run PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture app to create and share training content. This will give workers guided instructions on how to set up the new production processes needed to make ventilators. Dynamics 365 Remote Assist will offer hands-free video calling on the HoloLens to let operators collaborate with experts on a PC or mobile device.
The supply chain of the ventilators is being supported by Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, enabling the consortium to order parts and oversee the process through to the manufacture and assembly of the finished product. This will allow everyone to see who bought the parts and where they were sent, which is crucial in a supply chain involving multiple companies.
The process is normally so complex that it would take up to 12 months to set up a solution; however, Microsoft worked with Accenture to launch it in just three weeks.
“There is no more critical sector at this moment than healthcare, which is why we have been working around the clock to support the NHS on a number of fronts since this COVID-19 crisis began,” said Cindy Rose, Microsoft UK Chief Executive. “Now, through the power of HoloLens, Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365, we are proud to play a role in helping produce these critical life-saving devices.”
Read more about the life-saving venture and the companies involved at Microsoft here.