Hot on the heels of its work with Google to embed Covid-19 contact tracing functionality into iOS, Apple is continuing its work to help get the world through this terrible pandemic.
Cupertino is awarding $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics, a market leader in sample collection kits that play a critical role in COVID-19 testing.
Last October, Copan released news of its advances in advanced AI and digital plate reading for microbiology.
This funding will allow COPAN Diagnostics to rapidly accelerate their supply of sample collection kits for hospitals across the United States, expanding production from several thousand today to more than one million kits per week by early July. As part of this effort, Apple will support COPAN Diagnostics’ expansion to a new, larger facility in Southern California, with advanced equipment that Apple is helping design. This expansion is expected to create more than 50 new jobs.
“We feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything we can to help medical workers, patients, and communities support the global response to COVID-19,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “COPAN is one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers of sample collection kits for COVID-19 testing, and we’re thrilled to partner with them so they can expand as we work to address this critical issue for our nation. I couldn’t be prouder of our teams for bringing all of their energy, passion, and innovative spirit to supporting the country’s COVID-19 response.”
“We’re excited to forge this new relationship with Apple, whose teams are already making a huge difference with our efforts to scale up the production of our sample collection and transport kits,” said Norman Sharples, CEO of COPAN Diagnostics. “Collection and transport kits are a critical component in the fight against COVID-19. At COPAN, we’re excited and grateful for this partnership with Apple as our strong beliefs of innovation, quality, and excellence in manufacturing and design are perfectly aligned. Apple’s operational expertise will help us increase delivery of important pre-analytical tools for medical professionals across the country at this critical time.”
Apple is sourcing equipment and materials for COPAN Diagnostics from companies across the US, including equipment Apple is helping design from K2 Kinetics, based in York, Pennsylvania, and MWES in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
COPAN is a global player in the field of specimen collection and preservation for infectious disease diagnostics. The company’s sample collection kits have revolutionized the diagnostic industry and play a critical role in the COVID-19 testing process. The company’s unique quantitative approach to pre-analytics led them to invent flocked swabs in 2003, a revolutionary device comprising of a molded plastic applicator stick that has variable tips coated with Nylon fibers allowing for quick uptake and complete elution of the sample. COPAN’s UTM is the leading transport medium for collection, transport, preservation, and long-term freeze storage of clinical specimens containing viruses.
Apple has donated tens of millions of dollars toward the global COVID-19 response, including Global Citizen and America’s Food Fund. In addition, Apple designed, tested, and distributed almost 10 million face shields and sourced over 30 million face masks for healthcare professionals in hard-hit areas. Apple also developed a COVID-19 symptom-checking website and app in partnership with the CDC, and announced a collaboration with Google to develop COVID-19 contact tracing technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.Apple’s impact also extends to its range of innovative services. Apple News is connecting users with trusted information from reliable sources with its dedicated COVID-19 section, and Apple has worked with everyone from Oprah to Lady Gaga to help customers find information, entertainment, and ways to contribute to charitable causes through Apple TV.
It is great news to see well-respected tech companies like Apple doing so much to help with virtually all aspects of this infectious disease. From testing to tracing and diagnostics.