Apple-funded COPAN ships over 15 million COVID-19 test kits

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 22
With investment from Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund, medical firm COPAN Diagnostics hired almost 250 people, created a new medical facility, and has shipped more than 15 million coronavirus sample collection kits across the US.

Part of the COPAN Diagnostic coronavirus test kits
Part of the COPAN Diagnostic coronavirus test kits


Following Apple's May 2020 donation of $10 million, teams from Apple worked with COPAN and over a dozen other US firms to develop machinery and processes to produce COVID-19 test kits. Apple says that from April 2020, production increased by close to 4,000%.

"We are proud our Advanced Manufacturing Fund is supporting companies like COPAN who are playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19," said Apple COO Jeff Williams in a statement, "and assisting healthcare professionals and communities across the country."

"This collaboration helped produce, ship, and deliver millions of sample collection kits to hospitals from coast to coast," he continued, "and we believe it is this unique combination of American manufacturing and innovation that will help us emerge from this crisis and build a safer world for us all."

With the support of both Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund and the work of Apple engineers, product designers and more, COPAN opened a brand-new facility. It set up what Apple describes as a state of the art medical supply chain within weeks.

The testing kits produced by the new Southern California facility have been distributed around the US.

"The preferred specimen swabs are definitely COPAN's because of their superior collection capabilities," said Dr Aleta Bonner, pediatric emergency medicine physician in Temple, Texas. Dr Bonner has been studying respiratory diseases for more than 20 years, and during the pandemic has been working on testing for coronavirus.

"And to hear how they ramped up to support those of us in the healthcare field -- that is just an amazing feeling," she continued. "We're all in this together because we can only do our job as well as the support that's behind us."

Staff at COPAN's new medical facility
Staff at COPAN's new medical facility


COPAN Diagnostics CEO Norman Sharples says Apple was "remarkable" in the process.

"There was an all around incredible level of dedication from the teams to be creative and nimble so we could quickly get these critical testing supplies out to customers across the country," he said.

"The driver behind that was that everybody wanted to make a difference within a time frame where we could make a difference," continued Sharples. "Apple was a remarkable partner in making that possible, and we're so grateful to all of our American manufacturing partners who designed, built, and shipped equipment in record time."

Tim Cook has previously described the investment and assistance as an example of how Apple executives "turned the company upside down" in the search for ways to help combat COVID-19.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Interesting article… But saying which version COVID-19 test is being sent out would have been a good idea! (PS, I’m a nurse which should explain my interest in which test will be used).
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Interesting article… But saying which version COVID-19 test is being sent out would have been a good idea! (PS, I’m a nurse which should explain my interest in which test will be used).

    Good question!
    But reports are that it is a "sample collection" kit -- which may be able to be used to perform different types of tests -- much like a single type of blood sample tube (say a lavender top) can be used to perform multiple blood tests in the lab (and, vice-versa, different labs use different tubes for the same test).  I haven't seen anything explaining this -- but then, being retired I'm kind of out of the loop on these things.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Kudos to Apple to going above and beyond to aid our country in its time of need!   Good Job!

    But, my question is:  Why did a private company feel compelled to come to the aid of a critical organization during a national disaster/emergency?
    That is:  where the hell was the government we used to be able to rely on?
    ... Is this part of the privatization nonsense that's been going on for the past 30 years?

    Why did our government not flood our states and cities with free and effective masks?  (Instead we were told to make our own DIY masks like a third world country!)
    Why did our government not provide all the tests needed to control the virus and support effective contact tracing?
    Why did our government not ramp up data collection and instead we had to rely on private organizations like John Hopkins for data?
    Why are our public health agencies like the CDC mere shells of the world leading organizations they used to be?

    At one time we were able to leap from ground zero to the moon in a generation.
    Now, we look like an impoverished, third world nation flailing away helplessly in the mud.
    edited February 22
  • Reply 4 of 7
    Kudos to Apple to going above and beyond to aid our country in its time of need!   Good Job!

    But, my question is:  Why did a private company feel compelled to come to the aid of a critical organization during a national disaster/emergency?
    That is:  where the hell was the government we used to be able to rely on?
    ... Is this part of the privatization nonsense that's been going on for the past 30 years?

    Why did our government not flood our states and cities with free and effective masks?  (Instead we were told to make our own DIY masks like a third world country!)
    Why did our government not provide all the tests needed to control the virus and support effective contact tracing?
    Why did our government not ramp up data collection and instead we had to rely on private organizations like John Hopkins for data?
    Why are our public health agencies like the CDC mere shells of the world leading organizations they used to be?

    At one time we were able to leap from ground zero to the moon in a generation.
    Now, we look like an impoverished, third world nation flailing away helplessly in the mud.
    Umm....  Trump?
    Dogpersonjony0
  • Reply 5 of 7
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,999member
    Kudos to Apple to going above and beyond to aid our country in its time of need!   Good Job!

    But, my question is:  Why did a private company feel compelled to come to the aid of a critical organization during a national disaster/emergency?
    That is:  where the hell was the government we used to be able to rely on?
    ... Is this part of the privatization nonsense that's been going on for the past 30 years?

    Why did our government not flood our states and cities with free and effective masks?  (Instead we were told to make our own DIY masks like a third world country!)
    Why did our government not provide all the tests needed to control the virus and support effective contact tracing?
    Why did our government not ramp up data collection and instead we had to rely on private organizations like John Hopkins for data?
    Why are our public health agencies like the CDC mere shells of the world leading organizations they used to be?

    At one time we were able to leap from ground zero to the moon in a generation.
    Now, we look like an impoverished, third world nation flailing away helplessly in the mud.
    And many, are you one of them, want to turn over healthcare to a single entity, the government. Walk into any DMV, Social Security office, or Veteran’s hospital to see how that will work. Unionized, couldn’t care less, apathetic employees worried more about their next break than helping their citizen clients. 
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 6 of 7
    nicholfd said:
    Kudos to Apple to going above and beyond to aid our country in its time of need!   Good Job!

    But, my question is:  Why did a private company feel compelled to come to the aid of a critical organization during a national disaster/emergency?
    That is:  where the hell was the government we used to be able to rely on?
    ... Is this part of the privatization nonsense that's been going on for the past 30 years?

    Why did our government not flood our states and cities with free and effective masks?  (Instead we were told to make our own DIY masks like a third world country!)
    Why did our government not provide all the tests needed to control the virus and support effective contact tracing?
    Why did our government not ramp up data collection and instead we had to rely on private organizations like John Hopkins for data?
    Why are our public health agencies like the CDC mere shells of the world leading organizations they used to be?

    At one time we were able to leap from ground zero to the moon in a generation.
    Now, we look like an impoverished, third world nation flailing away helplessly in the mud.
    Umm....  Trump?

    Partly -- maybe mainly.   But our public health infrastructure has been under attack for a couple decades.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    lkrupp said:
    Kudos to Apple to going above and beyond to aid our country in its time of need!   Good Job!

    But, my question is:  Why did a private company feel compelled to come to the aid of a critical organization during a national disaster/emergency?
    That is:  where the hell was the government we used to be able to rely on?
    ... Is this part of the privatization nonsense that's been going on for the past 30 years?

    Why did our government not flood our states and cities with free and effective masks?  (Instead we were told to make our own DIY masks like a third world country!)
    Why did our government not provide all the tests needed to control the virus and support effective contact tracing?
    Why did our government not ramp up data collection and instead we had to rely on private organizations like John Hopkins for data?
    Why are our public health agencies like the CDC mere shells of the world leading organizations they used to be?

    At one time we were able to leap from ground zero to the moon in a generation.
    Now, we look like an impoverished, third world nation flailing away helplessly in the mud.
    And many, are you one of them, want to turn over healthcare to a single entity, the government. Walk into any DMV, Social Security office, or Veteran’s hospital to see how that will work. Unionized, couldn’t care less, apathetic employees worried more about their next break than helping their citizen clients. 

    Have we reached 500,000 dead Americans yet?
    ...  Anti-government Libertarian ideology loses its appeal when one is in a coffin.
    jony0
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