Shipped Philips Ventilators © Frank van Beek

Philips will be doubling the production of hospital ventilators in its manufacturing sites in the U.S. as early as next month. Ultimately, a four-fold increase must be reached by the third quarter of 2020 for supply to the U.S. and global markets. Such ventilators are critical for the treatment of patients with the new coronavirus disease COVID-19. Philips says it will invest several tens of millions in its ventilator manufacturing sites in the U.S.

All this is the result of talks between Philips and the American government. “We are actively collaborating with the U.S. government to help save lives in the U.S. and across the globe”, said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips. “There is an unprecedented global demand for medical equipment to help diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19. We welcome the support of the U.S. government in our efforts to aggressively increase the production of hospital ventilators.” Not all Made-in-the-USA-ventilators will be directed to the American market, Van Houten says. “We believe in the fair allocation of scarce medical equipment to those who need it the most, and we are ramping up to deliver 43,000 units to the most critical regions in the U.S. in the coming weeks and months through December 2020.”

In line with the recent call to action by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and World Health Organization (WHO), Philips and the U.S. government have agreed to work together to accelerate access to critical materials and components, expedite logistics and regulatory approvals, in order to rapidly increase the production of ventilators.

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Philips says it has already delivered several thousand ventilators to U.S. hospitals in the first three months of this year. As a result of its production ramp-up, Philips was able to deliver an additional batch of ventilators to one of New York’s hospitals, to help provide immediate relief to the surge of COVID-19 patients within the city.

Philips, a global leader in health technology with its headquarters in Amsterdam, believes that “critical medical equipment, such as hospital ventilators, should be made available across the world”. The company wants to use a fair and ethical approach to allocate supply to acute patient demands based on data such as the COVID-19 statistics per country/region (e.g. provided by the WHO and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center) and the available critical care capacity. “Philips may divide orders into batches to be delivered in phases, so that the company can simultaneously serve multiple countries/regions in need.”

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.