A collaboration between University of Limerick and UL Hospitals Group has seen the design and capacity created to manufacture 100,000 face visors for HSE front-line staff.
Professor Leonard O’Sullivan (pictured above) of UL’s School of Design and the Health Research Institute and UL Research Fellows Aidan and Kevin O’Sullivan in close collaboration with UHL colleagues have spear-headed this life-saving, ground-breaking initiative which has resulted in a process that would normally take 4-6 months occurring in just 12 days.
The Rapid Innovation Unit at UL, an SFI Confirm Centre led by Professor O’Sullivan, mobilised a team to innovate immediate solutions in response to the COVID 19 crisis.
The unit has previous experience in rapid design and 3D printing of medical devices in response to clinical requests.
Following a request from Professor Paul Burke, Chief Academic Officer at UL Hospitals Group and Vice Dean of Health Sciences at UL, academics and clinicians at the Rapid Innovation Unit at UL worked to design and manufacture novel solutions where doctors had identified potential shortages of equipment should COVID-19 cases surge.
In less than two weeks, the team designed solutions to three critical clinical challenges facing clinicians due to the pandemic.
These include capacity to manufacture 100,000 face visors for HSE front-line staff, refinement of a shield concept to protect anaesthesiologists during patient intubation for ventilation, and design of adapters for respiratory technologies to undergo a clinical trial.
“There has been a phenomenal collaborative effort to deliver these solutions in a very short timeframe,” explained Professor O’Sullivan.