Seeking to increase the number of available ventilators to providers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Royal Philips unveiled a new model this week and opened up about its plans to boost production of the various ventilators it manufactures.
The company introduced its Philips Respironics E30 ventilator, a versatile solution designed for noninvasive and invasive ventilation. It intends to immediately produce 15,000 units per week of the model, as part of its objective to eventually produce its whole stock of ventilators at a rate of 4,000 units per week by the third quarter of 2020.
“Our team has developed the new Philips Respironics E30 ventilator, which can be safely used when there is limited access to a fully-featured critical care ventilator,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Royal Philips, in a statement. “The Philips Respironics E30 ventilator can deliver a range of treatment options, and we will quickly scale its production to 15,000 units per week in April."
Designed for large scale production, the Philips Respironics E30 ventilator is optimized to treat patients with respiratory insufficiency and can quickly be set up for experienced respiratory care teams to complete simple operations. The easy-to-use device offers a range of skill sets to treat and monitor patients, and can be used noninvasively and invasively, making it adaptable for the treatment needs of COVID-19 patients.
Use of the device, which meets medical device quality standards, has been approved by the FDA under its Emergency Use Authorization process for the remainder of the outbreak, with production currently underway at Philips’ New Kensington site in western Pennsylvania.
Philips has recently formed a number of other partnerships, one of which is a $647 million deal with the U.S. government
to double its supply of ventilators by May and produce a fourfold increase by the third quarter of 2020. It also has partnered with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the flag carrier of the Netherlands, to create a temporary special cargo airlift
to transport medical equipment and other supplies from China to the Netherlands.
Other collaborators helping to expand its hospital ventilator assembly lines are manufacturers Flex and Jabil. Flex, which already produces one of Philips’ other respiratory products, will produce the Philips Trilogy hospital ventilator, as will Philips at its manufacturing site in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Philips will also produce its Respironics V60 hospital ventilator on its assembly lines at its California location, alongside Jabil. Both ventilators are designed for invasive and noninvasive ventilation, with the combined hospital ventilator output projected to reach 4,000 units per week by the third quarter.
"In line with Philips' mission, we are fully committed to helping as many healthcare providers as possible diagnose, treat and monitor the growing numbers of COVID-19 patients," said van Houten. "We have been mobilizing as a company to do so since January. The collaboration with our trusted partners Flex and Jabil will rapidly expand our hospital ventilator production capacity, and reinforce the supply chain to enable the ramp-up to a production of 4,000 hospital ventilators per week by the third quarter.”
Philips is working with U.S., European and Asian suppliers to ensure it has access to an uninterrupted supply of more than 650 different components needed for assembling its hospital ventilators, and is investing in several tens of millions of additional tools and molds, final assembly lines and test facilities to increase ventilator production.
The company has hired extra manufacturing employees to help complete 24/7 shifts around this effort and continues to work with governments, health authorities and relevant industries to expand production and facilitate shipments. It is encouraging fair allocation of medical equipment to meet acute patient needs, and may divide orders into batches to be delivered in phases, to simultaneously serve multiple countries and regions in need.