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Scottish Firms Stepping up Product Design to Help Frontline Workers

David Paul

,

Frontline Workers

i4 Product Design and Sunamp are providing PPE and hand washing facilities to NHS Scotland sites to help frontline workers fight the virus.

Two Scottish development companies are using their expertise to produce products designed to protect frontline workers fighting Covid-19, protecting them, and helping patients.

Design and development company i4 Product Design (i4pd) is sending 3D-printed personal protective equipment (PPE) directly to NHS Scotland locations to make the protective gear more readily accessible.

The initiative was spearheaded by a group of long-term i4pd staff members, with 95% of materials costs funded by staff.

i4pd employee Director, Marco Miglionico, commented: “Being an employee-owned design firm, and also having been affected by the coronavirus physically, mentally and financially, we were very motivated to give something back to the community using the resources we have.”

Using open-source designs, i4pd produced the Prusa RC3 face shield, but due to material issues, the design excluded a filter-mask to accompany the shield. The company has now produced a face filter designed to be more comfortable to wear for long periods.

After initial testing of the new shield and filter, i4pd used the data to revise the design, and have now rolled out 160 systems to various NHS Scotland locations, including Royal Victoria Dundee, Forth Valley Hospital, the Obstetrics Department at Edinburgh Western General, and Liberton Hospital.

I4pd Managing Director Brian Combe commented: “We are committed to continuing to supply PPE as long as there is a need within the NHS for such equipment, and we want to thank all key workers on the frontline for the tremendous job they’re doing in trying to keep the country safe.”

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Scottish heat battery manufacturer Sunamp has also stepped to up help workers, having been awarded a £50,000 grant this week from innovation agency ‘Innovate UK’ to help support the development of mobile handwash units to promote hand hygiene and prevent the spread of the virus.

The mobility of the units means that Sunamp can provide correct handwashing facilities wherever it is needed across the country, such as temporary wards, in the workplace or out in the field.

Sunamp chief executive Andrew Bissell said: “Stringent hand hygiene is key to limiting the spread of coronavirus and washing hands correctly with soap and water is proven to be more effective than using hand sanitisers.

“Widespread access to handwashing facilities is essential, and as the country emerges from lockdown it will be vital that people continue to be diligent about cleanliness.

“Our mobile units will provide instant hot water and will be suitable for use with and without either a plumbed-in water supply or nearby energy supply.

“The risk of legionella disease is minimised as water is stored at cold temperature and is heated instantly and only as required.”

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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