Researchers Push for Mass Blood Tests as a Covid-19 Strategy – Wired Next week, blood banks across the Netherlands are set to begin a nationwide experiment. As donations arrive—about 7,000 of them per week is the norm—they’ll be screened with the usual battery of tests that keep the blood supply safe, plus one more: a test for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. Then, in a few weeks, another batch of samples will get the same test. And after that, depending on the numbers, there could be further rounds. The blood donors should be fairly representative of Dutch adults ages 18 to 75, and most importantly, they’ll all be healthy enough for blood donation—or at least outwardly so.
What the hell is going on with coronavirus testing in the US? – MIT Tech Review The country is woefully behind where it should be, and that’s going to make it much harder to track and curtail the coronavirus’s spread.
What World War II Can Teach Us About Fighting the Coronavirus – Wired Ford announced Tuesday that it will not resume production, as initially planned. Ford has started several projects aimed at helping fight the pandemic. That means collaborating with 3M on a new respirator design using stockpiled parts like the fans made to cool the fannies of F-150 drivers. The automaker is working with GE Healthcare to increase production of ventilators, a crucial tool for Covid-19 patients struggling to breathe. Other automakers are working on similar efforts. Tesla bought more than 1,200 ventilators in China and donated them to the public health effort in California; CEO Elon Musk said his company is looking at how to build more. General Motors is helping Ventec Life Systems scale up its ventilator production and considering other ways to help.
Lessons from 1918 – PBS/John Barry [Audio] We are currently in the midst of the greatest public health crisis in more than 100 years. The influenza pandemic of 1918 caused an estimated 50 million deaths worldwide with countless more infected with the virus. It was an era defining event that affected everybody in the world.
The legislation takes a multipronged approach to confronting the mounting crisis. It contains a number of measures aimed directly at helping workers, including stimulus checks for millions of Americans, and others to shore up the government safety net, with provisions such as more food stamp spending and more robust unemployment insurance benefits. It also includes numerous provisions to help businesses weather the impending crunch, providing them with zero-interest loans, tax breaks and other subsidies.[full text of HR 748 here]
ECDC warns of overwhelmed hospitals, Italy-type COVID-19 pattern – CIDRAP The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) today warned in its latest COVID-19 risk assessment that cases are rapidly increasing in all of Europe, following rises that look similar to those of China’s Hubei province and Italy and that the risk of overwhelmed health systems is high.
Postacute Care Preparedness for COVID-19 – JAMA National projections suggest that hospitals may be overwhelmed with patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in the coming months. Appropriately, much attention has addressed the acute challenges in caring for this surge of critically ill patients. What has received less attention, however, is what happens as patients—most of whom will recover, even in the highest-risk groups—begin to do so. Many patients with COVID-19 will need postacute care to recuperate from their infection. However, postacute care facilities currently lack the capacity and capability to safely treat patients with COVID-19 as they transition from the hospital to other care settings or to their homes. In this Viewpoint, we present the scope of the problem and outline a series of steps that may be helpful as postacute care organizations prepare for the coming increase in patients with COVID-19.
Amazon workers test positive for covid-19 at 10 U.S. warehouses – Washington Post In the past few days, workers tested positive for covid-19 at Amazon warehouses and shipping facilities across the country, from New York to California and Michigan to Texas. In some cases, Amazon shut down facilities for cleaning, and some workers who were in close contact with their infected colleagues have been quarantined.
A new app might help researchers monitor the spread of coronavirus – MIT Tech Review The data collected from more than 750,000 people could help us understand why people’s experiences of coronavirus vary so wildly.
Engineers Made a DIY Face Shield. Now It’s Helping Doctors – Wired Early last week the director of the Engineering Design Innovation Lab at University of Wisconsin-Madison, got an urgent email from the university’s hospital. Could his lab make 1,000 face shields to protect staff testing and treating Covid-19 patients? The hospital’s usual suppliers were out of stock, due to the spike in demand prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. A hasty prototype was crafted at the UW maker space by adapting a construction visor, mannequin head, and Home Depot supplies.
An open-source ventilator design has been submitted for fast-track approval – MIT Tech Review The MIT team hopes the device could help save COVID-19 patients, as the escalating pandemic strains supplies of the machines. The motorized device automatically compresses widely available bag valve masks, the sort of manual resuscitator used by ambulance crews to assist patients with breathing problems. The designs could arrive as a growing number of engineers, medical students, and hobbyists attempt to build or share specifications for makeshift respirators—of unknown quality and safety—amid rising fears of widespread shortages as the coronavirus epidemic escalates.
Timeline Shows 3 Paths To COVID-19 Treatment And Prevention – ForbesScientists are breaking speed records in their race to develop treatments for the new coronavirus. Some are panning through old molecules hoping to find effective drugs. Others are applying the latest breakthroughs in synthetic biology to engineer sophisticated treatments and vaccines.
New York State seeks tech talent for its COVID-19 technology SWAT team – Tech Crunch The call, posted to New York State’s official government website, seeks “impactful solutions and skilled tech employees” to help state authorities scale and grow their technology-driven response to the spread of the coronavirus. Specifically, New York state is seeking people who have professional experience in “product management, software development / engineering, hardware deployment & end-user support, data science, operations management, design, or other similar areas.”
COVID Near You – Boston Children’s Hospital Created by epidemiologists and software developers at Harvard, Boston Children’s Hospital and a group of volunteers from across the technology industry. Covid Near You uses crowdsourced data to visualize maps to help citizens and public health agencies identify current and potential hotspots for the recent pandemic coronavirus, COVID-19. The website is a sister tool of Flu Near You, created by Ending Pandemics and Boston Children’s Hospital in 2012 and maintained by the Boston Children’s Hospital team.
Bosch develops rapid test for COVID-19 – Bosch Developed in just six weeks, the rapid test can detect a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in patients in under two and a half hours. The test for COVID-19 can help medical facilities make fast diagnoses and play a part in containing the coronavirus pandemic.