In a joint statement made by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems on Friday, the companies announced that they would collaborate to increase ventilator production to assist hospitals in the treatment of patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 pandemic (via The Verge). There have been concerns that the U.S. health infrastructure does not have enough ventilators to cope with the demand in the coming days.
In extreme cases of the infection, patients require ventilators for assistance in breathing. Ventec, a Seattle-based medical device company, is one of the few ventilator manufacturers in the country, and amid the crisis, it has significantly increased its production. Chris Kiple, CEO at Ventec, states that the company, which usually makes 150 ventilators per month, hopes to manufacture 1,000 machines per month. He also said that eventually, the company will be manufacturing 2,000 machines per month.
To manufacture the machines more quickly, Ventec will leverage GM’s logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise. GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra stated that the company would continue to "explore ways to help in this time of crisis." Other automakers, which include Ford and Volkswagen, have also reportedly contacted the White House to see how they can assist to ramp up the ventilator production.