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May 14, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Eko receives FDA’s EUA for ECG-based algorithm – Chinese-American business leaders to donate protective masks

By Chloe Kent

Aspen Surgical has increased its production capacity for its Precept brand of personal protective equipment (PPE) to aid in the fight against Covid-19. The company hired 100 new employees at its facility in Aqua Prieta, Mexico, which increased the output by 50% for the facemask line. With the installation of additional manufacturing equipment, the capacity is expected to be increased by a further 25%.

Eko has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) for its novel ECG-based algorithm that helps to provide an easy, accessible, rapid screening test for low ejection fraction (low EF). The device received the FDA Breakthrough Device designation in December last year, and it is hoped it will now be able to help detect heart failure in Covid-19 patients. The EUA permits the healthcare providers to use the AI algorithm to analyse a standard 12-lead ECG to evaluate the risk of a weakened heart pump.

Chinese-American business leaders have partnered with the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab to donate one million protective masks to people working in the frontlines in Chicago. With the partnership, the essential supplies will be provided to public sector and non-profit organisations. The drive to donate supplies was spearheaded by Citadel Securities CEO Peng Zhao and his wife Cherry Chen.

The Department of Precision Medicine at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has launched its AI tool for Covid-19 patient triage and received €920,000 from the European Commission for the DRAGON project. The D-lab group aims to develop a personalised medicine platform that can carry out risk assessment of patients infected by Covid-19.

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