The inspiration for the team is the worldwide crisis of a lack of supply in the ICU calibre ventilators. The project initiator was motivated by the previous week's experience attempting to source ventilators for Spain.
The challenge in the Global Supply Chain and the accessibility of hospital grade, invasive respirators. Problems:
- ICU calibre respirators (invasive) are in short supply.
- Many existing suppliers are not very reachable.
- Price wars are starting in a time of crisis.
- Lack of collaboration between those in need is hampering the goals
What it does
- Building a directory and collaboration platform for those how are in urgent need to assist by providing information on supply, manufactures, shipping terms, existing orders, and other group value. Mission:
- The goal is to provide information to those in urgent need and make it more obtainable.
How we built it
- Quickly. Simple CMS and some extensions because data and presenting was the primary need. Research:
- Internet research on available information, information platforms available
- Gather detailed needs about the criteria for respirators
- Define the needs of the stakeholders
- Review the already existing idea of the directory of suppliers. Define clearer the tech specs of the respirator, which information is needed
- Definition of the functionalities of the platform
- Define next steps e.g. on PR/Marketing of platform- how can we promote the platform
Challenges we ran into
- data sources difficult to get, not easy to get accurate and data, which can be maintained
- user perspective difficult to get and validate
- understanding the product: Ventilators are complex machines. What information is of interest for the user of the machine
Accomplishments that we are proud of
- started off with an empty directory and only 6 team members to build a website, create content, source new data, including visualization and analytics tools,
- made connections to stakeholders purpose:
- get a lot of interest from CH and UNAids organizations and the project in line with national and international needs on urgent medical supply
What I learned
- good to start with a concrete problem to solve, as the project got started with a sourcing problem of ventilators for Madrid's healthcare system
- feedback from mentors, government bodies and customers help to define the problem and shaping the solution
- a good mix between collaborative work and individual working sessions to move fast
What's next for ventilators.directory
- Obtain accurate information from the global supply and demand of ventilators to enrich the inventory updating continuously the map.
- Design and execute the operative model supporting a balanced and global ventilators supply chain.
- Design a circular economy strategy both for the ventilators and the spare parts
- Develop a detailed communications and marketing plan
- Contact all the stakeholders to promote the platform encouraging them to use it
- Interview users both from the demand and supply to validate their needs and specs to complete the functional prototype.
- Pivot if necessary
- Engage governments, non-governmental agencies, hospitals, producers and distributors to collaborate and benefit from the platform
- Profit from available technologies to scale up the platform to supply other urgent medical devices to mitigate the coronavirus needs