by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 24, 2020
The agency recommends that hospitals use FDA-cleared conventional and standard full-featured ventilators when available, and to consider using alternative devices if their supply of ventilators is low.
GE Healthcare did not disclose the number of ventilators it plans to produce nor the number of people it plans to hire to keep up with production but is shifting current employees and working with suppliers to further reduce shortages. It also is increasing manufacturing of equipment such as CT, ultrasound and mobile X-ray systems.
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Other companies, such as Medtronic and Philips, have also announced plans to boost production. “We are ramping up our production in China since the restart in February 2020, where we are now above 80% capacity utilization,” said Philips CEO Frans van Houten in a statement
. “To meet the increased demand for our professional healthcare products and solutions, across the globe we are in the process of increasing their production and rollout.”
Non-medical-based technology companies are also lending a hand, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk offering to make ventilators to prevent a shortage in the U.S. and Apple supplier Foxconn retrofitting production lines to produce masks and other necessary supplies. Ford, Honda and Rolls Royce have agreed to make healthcare equipment for the British government. Ford, along with General Motors, is currently in talks with the U.S. government on how they can support medical device production there.
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