Perspective on a Pandemic
How the coronavirus pandemic has affected ASG and brought our clients and industry closer together
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we work and live. Workers in all areas have new routines and protocols designed to prevent the spread of the virus. That includes ASG and our clients.
“Our biggest change has been working remotely,” says Katie Krock, project scheduler for ASG. “I have new co-workers at home — my kids and my husband!”
Despite the adjustment to working from home, not much has changed for Katie’s day-to-day tasks. Prior projects have continued, and everything is still on track, says Katie.
That said, some steps in the medical device supply chain have been hindered because of restrictions on travel. “I have equipment in Italy that can’t cross borders into Switzerland, for example,” says Katie.
Turning competitors into allies
Yet it’s important to keep projects moving forward to make room to work on coronavirus-related issues, Katie says.
For example, a recent article published by MediSurge, a medical device manufacturer, states that the increasing demand for respiratory devices is putting more pressure on these companies to produce more devices and provide them to areas in need. With this increased demand comes a decreased supply, but Katie sees the brighter side of things.
“One thing I found interesting is seeing how other companies are stepping up to make ventilators more quickly,” says Katie. “People went from being competitors to being allies.”
More and more companies are working together to bring more tests to patients to help isolate infected individuals and combat the spreading of the virus.
ASG’s Chief Systems Engineer, Randall Russell, believes in a thoughtful approach as coordination between companies grows. “There is always risk when you’re working in a high-anxiety situation,” he says. “Regulations need to be there. Having a sense of urgency about something that is extremely important takes a great deal of responsibility.”
Our local front-line resistance
In these situations, there is a need to coordinate regulatory compliance for safety and quality, Russell says. For example, Roche Diagnostics Corp., a Swiss pharmaceutical company with U.S. headquarters in Indianapolis, was recently granted emergency authorization by the FDA for a test that detects the virus that causes COVID-19 at the point of care. Roche is now distributing tests to the hospitals and reference laboratories with the broadest geographic reach and highest patient impact.
Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company has also joined the effort by receiving and testing coronavirus samples in its labs.
Companies are stepping up to make ventilators more quickly. People went from being competitors to being allies.
“We’re a small city, but we have so many pharmaceutical companies here,” says Katie. “To have something developed right here in Indy is amazing.”
Our experience with the coronavirus has revealed just how important the medical device supply chain is for a functioning healthcare system. One of the biggest changes may be a new sense of unity across the globe.
“This isn’t anything I ever imagined living through,” says Katie. “This isn’t just the U.S. coming together — this is the entire world.”
If you have any questions regarding how ASG is working with clients during the coronavirus pandemic, or if you’re interested in learning more about our team and our work, please contact us.