In late March 2020, there were many concerns about the supply chain collapse of critical care, ICU ventilators & beds for public hospitals.
The inspiration behind this directory stems from the great need to locate clear guidance and centralised information about this lifesaving, highly precise mechanical breathing machine in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The project initiator (Agustin Musi) was motivated by the previous weeks’ volunteer experience, while attempting to source and facilitate the matchmaking between a supply of ICU ventilators from China on behalf of the Mayor of Madrid, Spain.
The complexities of sourcing material outside of standard channels due to extreme demand has caused a lot of corruption and confusion in the supply chain.
Complexities and technical details of devices, the pricing, the criticality of delivery speed, the nationalisation, lack of cooperation between nations or even regional governments, and the payment/shipping terms, added too many barriers to the efficiency in the supply market.
The initial key goal was to reduce complexity in the discovery of information about hospital-grade, invasive ICU respirators.
Extending the vision
On April 3, 2020, a Switzerland-focused weekend hackathon (#verusvirus) brought a motivated team together to assist in the launch and to develop the vision beyond its initial scope. The six volunteers (Agustin Musi, Ying Zhang, Myrna Flores, Nathalie Veron, Stefanie Rudolph, Valerie Jaccard) from all over Switzerland, worked remotely from Friday – Sunday to collaborate, donate skills and effort to realise a first draft of the broader vision of the platform.
The directory transformed from the narrow “information resource only” of the “technical product/supplier directory” into a community-oriented matchmaking collaboration and global inventory tracking platform.
Launching the prototype (3 days)
On April 6 2020, the “ventilators.directory” sourcing collaboration platform was launched. Not only to complete the prototype of the hackathon, but also to urgently address the need for information and transnational collaboration.