Last month, we told you about MedCAD, a custom medical device company in Deep Ellum that was working to make better personal protective equipment that could help fight COVID-19. At the time, the MedCAD team was in the prototyping phase for numerous products. Now, its PPE shop is officially open.
On shop.MedCAD.net, the medical community (and beyond) can purchase anything from MedCAD’s new product lines. Available first are 3D Printed Protective Face Shields, Ear Savers, and Bulk Hand Sanitizer.
It’s a timely announcement as states across the country begin to reopen businesses that were closed during the shelter in place. Texas reopened last weekend.
“PPE is still in short supply,” Nancy Hairston, MedCAD president and CEO, said in a release. “You can hardly get protective gear at your local hardware store, we’re hoping to fill a void as people start going back to work. And not just for medical professionals in hospitals—but for first responders, service professionals, and retailers as well… the list goes on.”
MedCAD already had the necessary tools and expertise, like biomedical engineering and rapid prototyping, to innovate PPE. Pre COVID-19, MedCAD primarily focused on custom medical devices and manufacturing custom implants for neurosurgery and 3D-printed accessories for corrective jaw surgery and reconstruction.
Given the national quarantine, most of MedCAD’s cases, since they’re primarily elective surgeries, were delayed. Most resources were being repurposed to make the protective gear. Now, MedCAD has started resuming regular operations, though it plans to continue PPE innovations.
The team is still tackling ventilator valves and other PPE that are in short supply at hospitals to make them better than is already available. Also underway is a better version of the N95 mask.
“In a hospital setting, clean, filtered air is required for caregivers because of the concentration of patients with the disease. So there’s a challenge to make a mask that filters sufficiently while being comfortable for the caregiver,” Hairston previously told Dallas Innovates. “Reusable would be a plus. These are the kinds of needs we’re considering in the design process.”
Hairston says the filtered face mask design has made “extraordinary progress,” especially due to the collaboration with MedCAD’s onsite installation at Texas A&M Health Sciences.
“Our presence in the dental school is illuminating a very tangible need for optimized and dynamic supply chain solutions in hospitals,” she says. “It’s proving that our system provides a much needed service.”
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