Innovation companies and health partners based in Nova Scotia are collaborating on designing new products to address the needs being thrown up by COVID-19.

Spring Loaded Technology, Ring Rescue and engineering firm Enginuity are working with Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation and the Nova Scotia Health Authority Health Innovation and Discovery Hub to design solutions to emerging problems.

“Our industry teams are proven life-science sector innovators and we felt compelled to come together to assist our local communities in this way,” said Kevin Spencer, President of Ring Rescue. The company has created a solution for removing rings stuck on swollen fingers without ring cutting. Spencer is also an emergency department physician at the Dartmouth General Hospital.

The partnership has already brought forward innovations that will help ensure the health and well-being of medical staff, patients, and families, the group said in a statement.

So far, only a product called the Scotia Face Shield is available for commercial use. The partners said the purpose of the collaboration is to be prepared to make “a robust COVID-19 emergency response”.

Projects under development include:

  • An Intubation and Patient Transport Hood -- This will provide a barrier with negative pressure for infection control, which may be useful for airway, oropharynx and nasopharynx procedures, transport of patients, and in palliative care management.
  • The Scotia Face Shield -- Based on the Bauer face shield design, the Spring Loaded facility has begun producing 1,000 face shields for the DGHF. Due to growing needs across the country, daily production could rapidly scale to the tens of thousands if needed, so they could be supplied to every healthcare professional in the Atlantic Provinces.
  • A Cleanable P100 Respirator Filter Cover -- Elastomeric respirators with cartridge-style filters are a viable form of protection, particularly in response to N95 shortages. The partners have proposed a cleanable plastic housing that could enable these types of filters to be cleaned while remaining attached to the mask frame. This cover could ultimately reduce filter consumption.
  • The Halifax Gown -- An improved, locally designed protective gown with integrated hood and face shield; a separate hood-only version is available.

The partners stressed the need for collaboration.

“Our response to COVID-19 will be a defining moment for our generation and will require out-of-the-box thinking to support our healthcare system,” said Stephen Harding, President and CEO of the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted traditional supply chains and created a need for the production of traditional PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), as well as the rapid development of new devices that can help expand the capacity of our health care system,” said Chris Cowper-Smith, President and CEO of Spring Loaded Technology, which creates assistive devices that reduce pain and restore mobility.

 For further information, contact the Dartmouth General Hospital Foundation or visit