Innovation Quarter Companies & Institutions Converge to Develop Creative Solutions
Across the Innovation Quarter, collaborations are happening in real-time as innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and researchers are coming together to help advance solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some recent examples:
- Bailey Power Plant tenant Javara Research, Wake Forest Baptist Health, tech company Oracle and two other health systems have teamed up to conduct a community-based research study of the novel coronavirus. The goal of the study, which will employ online data collection and at-home rapid diagnostic kits, is to help the medical community better understand the pandemic and regional infection patterns. This data will be used to develop strategies and treatments to contain and possibly eliminate this novel coronavirus in defined populations.
- Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) researchers collected and tested samples of 13 designs from approximately 400 masks made by community volunteers. Their goal: determine what type of mask best removes particles 0.3–1.0 microns in diameter, the size of many viruses and bacteria, in comparison to standard surgical masks and N95 respirators. The results, which will help community volunteers and other groups make more efficient masks, showed the most effective homemade masks have a double layer of quilting cotton.
- Wake Forest Baptist Health’s pharmacy department quickly converted some lab space at One Technology Place into a facility to manufacture emergency hand sanitizer. By partnering with local distillery Sutler Spirit Co. to source ethanol, pharmacy technicians produced an emergency supply of 45 gallons in just the last week for use at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
- Inmar Intelligence and Wake Forest Baptist Health are collaborating to make use of Inmar’s vast data capabilities to reach more patients with “chatbot” technology. This software application technology provides real-time responses to commonly asked questions through Wake Forest Baptist’s website and social media channels. Inmar’s data analytics resources are also being explored as a way to hyper-target specific patient populations that may be more at-risk for COVID-19 and deliver important health-related messages.
- Members and leaders at MIXXER, a community maker space, collaborated with front-line health professionals at Wake Forest Baptist Health to develop and then laser-cut parts for badly needed face shields. In short order, the makers at MIXXER were able to create and deliver more than 100 face shields directly to the health system.