A month ago, distributor Anglia set up a task force to make sure components for ventilators and other medical equipment were getting through in the UK and Ireland. With most of Europe past the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak the emphasis has changed but the supply chain demands are still high, says John Bowman, marketing director at Anglia and the task force lead.
Now manufacturers are developing medical equipment for very different scenarios driven by the pandemic.
“There’s been an awful lot of development,” said Bowman. “It’s very much at sustained levels with medical designs coming to the fore with engagement with customers so we have added more people to the task force. With a lot of customers getting through the initial frantic activity we have found it goes beyond traditional ventilator developments for the covid-9 fight to the associated health concerns moving forward.”
The new entrants have come with a new design methodology and learning about the market here in the UK, he says. Then there is the NHS demand and what the demand looks like in future years.
“Each week a different challenge comes along that is without precedent. Looking at the industry , then supply chain will continue to be a significant risk factor and it has to have very careful attention to logistics,” he said.
“Going beyond the ventilator and looking at the importance of electronics in the healthcare system that demand is going to rise and rise for both existing products and for the new products that are part of the Covid- 19 pandemic, not just for treatment but for care equipment. A couple of areas we have seen are for new products for social distancing with body-worn electronics, electronics in PPE, where the activities with PPE are monitored. So its about the monitoring of exposure, capturing the data on the users of the PPE."
"We are also seeing the re-thinking of the user