The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory and Georgia Tech serves as a bridge between healthcare needs and the broad technical know-how at Georgia Tech, and Georgia Tech researchers are talking regularly with hospital systems to discuss their needs. So far, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, face shields, respirator masks, and ventilators have been identified as critical needs. Using resources of the Flowers Invention Studio – such as 3D printing – the group has already produced 1,000 face shields and is preparing to fabricate thousands more in the form of kits that hospitals can assemble.
Georgia Tech faculty members, students and the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) worked on multiple face shield designs, talking with clinicians at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory Healthcare and Piedmont Healthcare to evaluate and iterate. The result was two different designs intended for specific uses in hospital facilities, where face shields protect clinicians from splashes and help extend the life of soft respirators intended to filter out virus particles.