Team at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation building solutions in support of COVID-19 response

(Photo supplied/Parkview Health)

Fort Wayne – A team of innovators at the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation is designing multiple solutions for equipment that could be used in the global fight against COVID-19.

The Innovation Team is working alongside clinical team members and area partners in the Mirro Center’s Simulation Lab to design potential alternatives for ventilators, N95 masks and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), all of which are in critical need globally. The team’s designs are being shared with other innovators and health systems around the world.

“Innovation can often emerge rapidly from crisis as it provides conditions for thinking differently,” said Jolynn Suko, senior vice president and chief innovation officer, Parkview Health. “With COVID-19, we saw the opportunity to support all patients and caregivers, not just the those in our region. While some designs have the potential to be used locally, the ideas being created by our Innovation Team are part of a global effort to address critical needs and save lives.”

The Parkview Innovation Team participates in thought leadership with organizations like Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, allowing them to share and collaborate with other innovators facing the same challenges. Though the designs have not been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they have the potential to be used to save patients and protect caregivers.

Throughout the innovation process, Parkview’s team had support from local universities and businesses, including Trine University, Purdue Fort Wayne, MasterCraft, L3Harris Technologies and QSC Fort Wayne.

“We’re proud of what our team has built in collaboration with local and global innovators, and we hope some of these ideas can be implemented in pandemic response efforts,” Suko said. “We will continue to refine our ideas and come up with more potential solutions to meet critical needs for the healthcare industry.”