The three healthcare companies are collaborating with the University of Minnesota on the project.
UnitedHealth Group, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and the University of Minnesota announced Thursday that the four organizations would collaborate on a project to deploy 3,000 'light' ventilators to combat the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
In a joint press release, the organizations stated that the first 500 units are ready to be shipped this week, though the initial locations for delivery have not been determined yet.
The goal of the newly created 'light' ventilator, known as the "Coventor," is to supply clinical staffers with high-level respiratory support even though front line workers may lack "immediate access to traditional ventilators," due to an ongoing shortage across the country.
The University of Minnesota conceived of the Coventor, according to the press release, and the three healthcare companies provided "technical, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing expertise" to help scale the product.
"Unique partnerships will be critical as we work together to confront COVID-19 in the months ahead," Ken Ehlert, chief scientific officer at UnitedHealth Group, said in a statement. "These light ventilators will help prevent future ventilation shortages, support patients who need this level of breathing assistance and expand clinical capacity to deliver care."
Deliveries of the Coventor will be targeted to regions where the device is needed most and then any remaining ventilators will be donated to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile.
The announcement came one week after HCA Healthcare unveiled its plan to provide up to 1,000 ventilators as part of the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve, a public-private partnership between the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the federal government.
Less than two weeks ago, Vingroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate announced a partnership with Foxconn Technology Group to work with Medtronic on manufacturing ventilators.
Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.