Molex+AutoMedx: Bringing Battlefield Technology to the Fight Against COVID-19

Ventilators are critical in the global response to the new coronavirus but use of these devices requires significant training from specialized healthcare providers. The SAVe II ventilator from AutoMedx, a Molex customer, overcomes this training hurdle by simplifying use without sacrificing effectiveness.

It is extremely portable, weighting just 2.7 lbs. with up to 10 hours of battery life on a single charge, and nurses and doctors can be trained to use the SAVe II in only 1-2 hours. A body height selector on the device corresponds to preset tidal volumes — the volume of air normally displaced by the lungs without applying extra effort — to reduce error and give healthcare professionals time to care for other patients. This ventilator was originally developed to improve triage capabilities on the battlefield where weight and ease-of-use are crucial, but its simple operation and reliability make it an appealing option for healthcare providers without formal ventilator training to effectively treat patients with COVID-19.
However, the pandemic increased demand for the SAVe II by approximately 25x, meaning Molex, as the supplier of multiple critical components, also needed to quickly increase production.

Expanding Options to Deliver the SAVe II Without Delay
Molex has been working closely with AutoMedx since the launch of the original SAVe in 2007 and was integral to the design of the SAVe II in 2015. Though these ventilators are small, being roughly the size of a thick book, multiple components are required. For Molex, this means dramatically increasing the production of a custom user interface, connectors within the unit, and Premo-Flex cables. With so many individual pieces, we knew meeting this spike in demand would require collaboration on a global scale, so the team at Molex took a two-pronged approach to ensuring supply.
First, we leveraged our global network to understand how and where we could increase production on all components to meet surging demands.
Simultaneously, we took the second step which involved searching for viable alternative components that could potentially be used if the normal supply channel was not an option. This is no small process, especially for medical devices, but Molex’s longtime relationship with AutoMedx and our familiarity with the product design helped us find suitable alternatives to eliminate issues. 

Looking Ahead
The current priority is to fill all urgent demands related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including orders for the Department of Health and Human Services and Google’s development wing, X Development, which is offering their support in this crisis. From there, our commitment to AutoMedx will continue as they strive to further innovate the SAVe II, contribute to the national stockpile to prevent future shortages, and help field medics get the tools they need to care for wounded soldiers.

Learn more about what we’re doing to overcome COVID-19.