OU Develops, Produces Innovative PPE
Mike Seals - April 30, 2020 8:34 am
Essential Equipment Prototyped and Manufactured at OU Donated to OU Medicine
NORMAN, OKLA. – The University of Oklahoma is leveraging its expertise and resources to alleviate the shortage of protective gear and critical equipment for health care workers. Recently, more than 300 face shields and 11 isolation boxes, manufactured at OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub, were donated to OU Medical Center.
The equipment is part of the broad university effort to develop, prototype, validate and offer recommended essential equipment designs. For several weeks, a task force of over 40 engineers, designers, occupational health and safety experts, doctors and specialists from OU’s three campuses has been evaluating prototypes and iterating designs in an effort to find the designs that are safest and most effective.
The novel face shields and isolation boxes were designed by Brandt Smith, Tyler Thibodeau, Nathan Herring, Kolton Topetchy, Zane Raines, Daniel Royer and J.D. Epperson at the Tom Love Innovation Hub based upon close discussions with the OU Medical Center.
“We are grateful for the ingenuity and commitment of faculty, students and staff on OU’s Norman campus to design and produce face shields and isolation boxes for OU Medicine healthcare providers,” said Dr. Cameron Mantor, acting chief medical officer, OU Medical Center. “Personal protective equipment is crucial to the safety of our personnel as they treat patients with COVID-19, and such items will remain important as we resume procedures that were paused during the surge of the pandemic.”
Tom Wavering, executive director of the Tom Love Innovation Hub, co-leads OU’s COVID-19 Essential Equipment Task Force with Dr. Yacoub Al Sakka, director of digital technologies in the OU College of Dentistry.
In addition to the face shields, Wavering said that there will be two versions of the isolation boxes: a small version that may be used to protect clinicians during intubation procedures, and a larger isolation box to protect healthcare professionals performing COVID-19 patient testing.
“We have worked closely with the OU Medical Center and other partners to identify key gaps that our task force can help to address,” Wavering said. “These partnerships enable us to leverage the best of OU and deliver critically needed solutions for those on the front lines.”
The designs for the face shields and isolation boxes will be available at ou.edu/foroklahoma as part of the task force’s work to present validated essential equipment designs. Private citizens, industry and organizations are encouraged to use the designs and help produce this critically needed equipment in cooperation with their regional health providers.
“This donation demonstrates the OU spirit,” said OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia. “This project is just one example of the unprecedented innovation resulting from OU researchers finding ways to help during this crisis.”
Below: OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub Staff unload small isolation boxes.