Mon 04-05-2020 15:03 PM
ABU DHABI, 4th May, 2020 (WAM) -- In an ongoing effort to find innovative solutions to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mubadala Healthcare has reached out to NYU Abu Dhabi, NYUAD, to utilise its 3D printing and Core Technology Platform capabilities to meet the growing demand for critical medical supplies.
In a statement today, Mubadala Healthcare said the aim of the initiative is to act proactively by meeting immediate needs, but in a sustainable way. "The new 3D printed masks will be similar to the top-rated N95 mask, but reusable and with replacement filters," it said.
Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, Senior Vice President at Mubadala Healthcare, said, "This collaboration is aligned with Mubadala Investment Company’s #WeAreDedicated campaign, launched as a COVID-19 response strategy to find ways to collaborate across diverse enterprises and sectors to protect the community, and support the UAE government in its efforts to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impacts. We were impressed by the enthusiastic response we received from all parties involved and the speed at which development has taken place."
"While our own facilities are well placed to procure supplies today, it is important to have a more robust and diversified supply network moving forward. It is our hope that our work will also help to ensure adequate supply to meet the UAE’s needs, and that our methods can help the international community as well."
For the 3D-printing mask project, Mubadala Healthcare has enlisted the experts at its Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi facility to advise on issues regarding supply chain and clinical engineering, as well as seeking their medical opinion and help in testing the equipment.
NYUAD was able to respond immediately to Mubadala Healthcare’s call, working with the project team and using its substantial resources in 3D printing, engineering, and design to turn around physical prototypes in less than 48 hours.
The prototypes are currently being tested in non-live conditions by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi physicians, and after receiving feedback, the University will optimise the design of the masks.
NYU Abu Dhabi Vice Provost for Innovation and Managing Director of startAD Ramesh Jagannathan said, "We are continually seeking ways to support COVID-19 solutions, and protecting the country’s healthcare workers should be one of the top priorities. This initiative allows us to directly contribute to the government’s response to the outbreak, and builds on our existing role of offering the highest standards in education. I am proud to say that two members of the team at Mubadala Healthcare working on this project are NYUAD alumni."
Jagannathan explained that the 3D printed prototypes are designed to meet the performance standards of the N95 mask, but enhanced by the fact that the modular new design will enable the masks to be sterilised and reused, with removable, replaceable filters.
Mubadala Healthcare’s Al Nowais emphasised that this project is part of Mubadala Healthcare’s broader approach to responding proactively to the pandemic. Among other steps, it has already established on-site and drive-through screening centers at its facilities, increased laboratory testing capacity for COVID-19, launched pharmacy home delivery, and expanded telemedicine across assets.
"We will continue to work with other Mubadala assets as well as highly regarded external parties in an ongoing effort to support the UAE leadership and its people to overcome the current challenges wherever possible," he concluded.