Microsoft helps UK companies build ventilators to cut 12-month process to 3 weeks

As the new coronavirus outbreak has spread around the world, there is a serious shortage of ventilators to sustain patients’ lives. The British government has called for more companies unrelated to medical equipment to expand their ventilator production lines, including through retrofits. A number of British industrial, technical and engineering giants from the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors are now responding to calls to help microsoft in its latest blog post.

The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium has agreed to design, manufacture and test ventilators and components across the UK. Microsoft has helped the consortium through its collaborations with Avanade, Content and Code, IT Lab and PTC.

Microsoft helps UK companies build ventilators to cut 12-month process to 3 weeks

Photo from the Microsoft Blog

First, Microsoft allows consortium members to access Teams for free, making it easier for these companies to deliver messages, communicate, hold training agendas, share documents, and more.

In addition, Microsoft Hololens and mobile devices are able to create and share training content by running PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture app, providing remote guidance on how workers produce ventilators. Dynamics 365 Remote Assistance will provide hands-free video calls on HoloLens, allowing operators to collaborate with experts on pCs or mobile devices.

Dynamics 365 helps manage the ventilator supply chain, allowing the consortium to order parts and oversee the entire process until the finished product is manufactured and assembled. This will allow everyone to see who has purchased the parts and where they are sent, which is critical in the supply chain involving multiple companies.

The process is often so complex that it can take up to 12 months to build a solution. But Microsoft’s partnership with Accenture took just three weeks to build.

Cindy Rose, chief executive of Microsoft UK, said: “Since the COVID-19 crisis, there has been no more important sector than health care, which is why we have been supporting the NHS around the clock. Now, with the power of HoloLens, Microsoft Teams, and Dynamics 365, we are proud to have played a role in helping to produce these important life-saving devices. “