At Boston Scientific, our priority is to protect and aid the health and safety of our employees, our physician customers and their patients. That has always meant ensuring that our life-changing devices and therapies would be available when needed. Now, it means finding new and creative ways to support the frontline healthcare workers working tirelessly to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a challenging time for all of us, but we will continue to make decisions guided by our core values to support our global community.
Global Collaboration and Meaningful Innovation to address critical needs
We are collaborating with hospitals, universities and industry peers to find new and innovative ways to address the urgent demand for protective personal equipment (PPE) and ventilators. Our teams have several initiatives underway, including:
- Working with the University of Minnesota Bakken Medical Device Center and industry collaborators to bring a ventilator alternative to market. The machine is intended to work as a one-armed robot to pump an Ambu® bag, replacing the need for manual respiration in emergency settings.
- Collaborating with a global manufacturer of commercial ventilators to source and produce product components, thereby expanding its supply chain capacity to enable its increased production of transportable ventilators.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Addressing PPE shortages among healthcare workers to produce face shields at three of our U.S. manufacturing sites, through a collaboration with the nonprofit GetUsPPE.org and a plastic packaging company Prent Corporation.
- Working with the University of Minnesota and others to develop a reusable personal respirator. The joint team intends to design and build prototypes, collect clinical feedback, obtain regulatory approval and distribute a significant quantity of reusable PPE that can be used in place of the combination N95 respirator and face shield.
Winning Spirit to adapt to customer needs which further improves patient care
We are also leveraging technology to provide remote support for our physician customers. This includes augmented reality platforms for next-generation case support. We are also harnessing technology platforms to provide virtual training, education and technical support when possible, so we can reduce risk of exposure and preserve PPE for critical procedures.
Caring for our communities by providing immediate support
To help meet the urgent needs of healthcare providers, we have contributed more than $2M to aid COVID-19 relief efforts globally through monetary and supply donations, and by providing engineering and manufacturing expertise and resources. This includes previous and planned donations of PPE and medical equipment to local hospitals and government agencies. The company is also providing support to children, families and the most vulnerable through direct financial contributions to local community and global non-profit organizations including Project HOPE and International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies.
Protecting our global team
These actions come amid significant changes in the way our global workforce operates in order to protect our employees and flatten the curve of infection. Employees who can perform their job functions from home have been working remotely with flexible work arrangements. Extra precautions, including increased cleaning measures and social distancing protocols, are in place for employees who remain onsite to produce medical devices. When in-person support is essential for critical patient procedures, we will continue to provide it, in accordance with guidance from local health authorities and following hospital protocols.
Additional resources are available to employees who are trained healthcare providers choosing to volunteer as supplemental staff for hospitals in need of additional support, as well as tools to support the physical, mental and financial health of our entire global team.
At Boston Scientific, we have always found our purpose in working alongside healthcare providers to solve some of healthcare’s toughest challenges. Our commitment is unwavering, regardless of the overwhelming obstacles we face today, and we will emerge from this challenging time stronger, together.