Here’s How Medtronic is Joining the Fight Against COVID-19


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The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the related COVID-19 disease are continuing to ravage the globe, but people everywhere are doing what they can to help fight this deadly plague. Whether it’s ordinary people simply staying at home or large companies producing resources for medical staff, everyone is throwing their hat into the ring.

At the time of writing, there have been 2,073,394 confirmed cases of COVID-19 of which an encouraging 1,379,392 are considered to be experiencing mild symptoms and 642,868 have made a full recovery. However, it is unfortunate that 51,134 remain in a serious/critical condition and 134,007 have sadly lost their lives. For those in critical condition, one of the most important medical devices which can be deployed is a ventilator. COVID-19 attacks the lungs and ventilators can help patients breathe while their bodies fight the virus.

However, with the sudden and rapid emergence and spread of the virus, many health systems have been caught by surprise and don’t have enough ventilators to meet this unprecedented demand. This is leading medical device companies to step up production and try anything they can to address the ventilator shortages.


One such medical device brand is Dublin, Ireland based company Medtronic. Since 1949, Medtronic has been providing the healthcare industry with the tools it needs to make people better and has been hard at work since the coronavirus outbreak began.

While Medtronic is stepping up its production of portable ventilators, it is also taking an altogether more innovative approach as well. Medtronic is taking the novel step of making the design specifications for its Puritan Bennett™ 560 (PB 560) ventilator public. This will allow other medical device manufacturers to evaluate additional options for the rapid manufacture of ventilators and get more of these machines to the frontlines as quickly as possible.

“Medtronic recognizes the acute need for ventilators as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections,” said Executive Vice President and President of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic, Bob White. “We know this global crisis needs a global response. Over the past few weeks, we have ramped up production of our Puritan Bennett™ 980 ventilators. But we also know we can do more, and we are. By openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against COVID-19.”

During normal times it would seem almost unthinkable that a company would willingly relinquish the designs for its intellectual property. However, the needs of the planet outweigh such concerns right now. It’s a truly amazing thing to see a company such as Medtronic putting people before profits and making sure that as many of these vital resources can be made available as possible.

“Ventilators play a critical role in the management of patients with severe respiratory illness, such as COVID-19, who require assistance because they cannot breathe effectively,” said Medtronic in a press release. “By placing a patient on a ventilator, the patient’s lungs are permitted to rest and recover while the ventilator performs the functions of supplying oxygen and simulating the actions of breathing. Without ventilation support, some patients with severe respiratory disease might not survive.”

Field Service

Medtronic will also be supporting the ongoing fight against coronavirus with a host of periphery services — including field service. However, field service can be difficult to provide during times such as these.

If the issue can be detected remotely and the fix is simple, Medtronic’s field service professionals can often guide the client through carrying it out themselves — saving time and protecting staff.

Medtronic is also introducing software to allow caregivers to remotely screen and monitor patients. The company has also pledged around $1.2 million to global coronavirus response efforts, which included donations of ventilators, respiratory filters, and pulse oximeters and sensors to a hospital in Wuhan, China — the city where the outbreak is thought to have begun.

Final Thoughts

The coronavirus pandemic has caught the world off guard, and we’ve all been playing catch up since it began. However, with medical device companies such as Medtronic doing so much to support our essential health systems, we stand a better chance of overcoming.

The COVID-19 crisis is sure to be a hot topic at Field Service Amelia Island 2020, taking place in August at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, FL. Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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