Tackling the second wave of Covid-19 : Page 2 of 3

May 08, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
A month on from the setting up of a taskforce to address supply chain issues for medical equipment, Nick Flaherty catches up with John Bowman of UK distributor Anglia which handles Analog Devices
A month on from the setting up of a taskforce to address supply chain issues for medical equipment, Nick Flaherty catches up with John Bowman of UK distributor Anglia

interface,” he said. “5G and LTE-M with zero latency are allowing a more remote interface that can be 10m away, in another ward or even in another town, and that brings in wireless, voice and gesture recognition design with security.”  

Scaling production is still a challenge, he says.

“The established companies that are scaling up for production from low hundreds of units to many, many thousands the design methodologies can show the challenges of scaling up to consumer volumes, to build in volume and to license out to other companies.”

“The added factor we have seen is the design for longevity with extended duty cycles and the need for governments not to buy equipment again in two years so they are looking for 10 years of 24/7 operation,” he said. “Another element is the maintenance and serviceability, incorporating predictive maintenance and conditional  monitoring so the hospital can service and maintain the equipment on site with modular PCBs.”

There is also a push to developing test system in volume.

“We do find a consortium approach combining medtech with pharma along with research labs, and they have the need for assays to take advantage of the latest technologies and aid the logging and communications of the equipment,” he said.  

The supply chain remains part of the challenge as the ability of manufacturers to specify multiple source on the approved vendor list is still to come along. The timing was fortunate, as the closure of the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore came after the peak of the ventilator build, so material had been sourced before that happened.

Anglia’s task force has been working closely with the component suppliers. “We could not operate without people in the vendors – it’s about the organisations being able to work together,” he said. “This cut down a lot of the early problems of communication in making the right decisions about which devices to prioritise. The supply


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