While there is still a shortage of an estimated 45,000 ventilators, hope from innovation may be near. Dr. Steve Richardson, an anesthesiologist at the University of Minnesota, has designed a simpler, less expensive ventilator. Now with expedited clearance from the FDA, the new design could be manufactured by the thousands, in just 3 weeks.
Meanwhile, in Italy, when hospitals ran out of ventilator valves, a 3D printing business of all companies was able to print new valves. The original valves cost $10,000, Isinnova, printed them at a cost of $1 per valve. Bravo!
While the silver lining of innovation is revealed today, what can also be learned from the past? In 1721, the Boston Smallpox Epidemic claimed 850 lives, infecting 11,000 people. Amid the virulent outbreak, the use of variolation increased, eventually leading to the development of effective vaccines.
James Franklin shared his anti-inoculation viewpoint in a newspaper, which sparked publishers to print stories about politics, local events, humor, and satire. Surprisingly, this led to the creation of the first independent newspaper in the U.S.
However you want to look at it, one thing’s for sure, the world will be a little different when we get out of our homes.
Learn more about the innovation of epidemics here!
Infographic by: www.topmastersinpublichealth.com