Medtronic ramps up ventilator production to meet global demand

Medtronic is doubling its production of ventilators amid the COVID-19 pandemic,

Private companies like Minnesota's Medtronic are boosting production in order to build equipment to fight COVID-19.

Medtronic is working round the clock to make more ventilators. Last week, company officials announced plans to double its production.

“This is an unprecedented human challenge for sure and it’s going to require an unprecedented response, and that’s why Medtronic is mobilizing all of its capabilities and doing everything we can do to up the supply of ventilators around the world,” said Rob Clark, Medtronic chief communications officer.

Clark says the company has moved boosted production to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At its facility in Ireland, Clark says Medtronic can make 225 ventilators a week, which the company hopes to increase to more than 500 ventilators a week.

“We’re examining anything we can possibly do to make that number even go higher,” said Clark.

Clark says companies across the technology and automotive sectors have been having discussions, regarding how to better serve needs amid the pandemic. Over the weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted he has been in contact with Medtronic, calling the company a “very impressive team!”

“What I think you’re seeing is companies standing forward saying, ‘How can we apply our capability to this need?’” said Clark. “And we think that’s a great thing and that’s why we’re engaging, and in this case, Tesla believes that they have a role to play. We had a great team-to-team engineering meeting, we’ll see what comes out of it, but it’s all part of a recognition by our society that we need to do whatever we can to generate some more supply here.”