The N95 mask shortage is a symptom of a much larger problem.
The world has a global shortage of N95 masks. What can we do?
Health care professionals and experts say we now have a shortage of masks, gowns, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors, nurses, and other medical staff.
In this environment, health care workers worry they might get sick — perhaps forcing them to take up a hospital bed that would otherwise go to someone else — or die. The situation not only threatens health care workers’ well-being, but it could also limit US health care capacity even as experts warn we need to scale up to confront the rise in coronavirus cases.
What can be done about the shortfall in protective equipment? Should the US create a new supply chain - a cottage industry around protective equipment - a new "gig" economy? Is there a need to fix the existing supply chain? or Both?
There are reports by several States including and healthcare systems that shipments of ventilators and protective gowns, gloves, and masks are being intercepted and diverted without explanations.
To combat the overall crisis, there are multiple initiatives underway popping up across the country and globe:
- Crowdfunding Initiatives (i.e. 4787 PPE gofundmes to-date)
- Volunteer Led Donation Groups (i.e. GetusPPE.org, DonatePPE.org, Mask Match)
- Moving gear from labs to hospitals (i.e. PPE Link)
- Creative Solutions (i.e. Fix the Mask, MIT Face Shield)
- 501c3 Non-Profits (i.e. Operation Masks)
- Aggregate Purchasing Power (i.e. 1 billion masks)
- For Profit Distributors (i.e. CovCare)
- City, State, Federal initiatives (i.e. FEMA's Project Airbridge)
Join us for a two-hour idea-thon and discussion to tackle and collaborate around (i) fixing the supply the chain (ii) creating new supply chains.
We will start with framing the problem. Some of the speakers have been digging deep and will share their perspectives around:
- Is there a way to improve the current supply chain?
- Is there a way to increase the production of melt blown fabric?
Is there another material that can filter well while still being breathable?
- Is there a way to use our current supply more efficiently?
Breakout Sessions include:
- Quality & Testing
- Demand - Supply Match
- Decontamination and Re-Use
- Finance and Procurement
- Confiscation and Customs
In exchange for the value you receive from this event, we ask that you make a donation (in an amount of your choosing) to the MIT COVID-19 Response Funds.
MITCNC alums: Please make sure you are a current member of the club before registering. If you are unsure or would like to join the club, click here.