Healthcare workers across the globe are facing dire shortages of critical equipment needed to treat the coronavirus. Each day, news outlets show images of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals struggling with inadequate or non-existent PPE (personal protective equipment). The public is left at home wondering what can be done to help.

With 49 states having now implemented stay at home orders, many Americans feel trapped at home, watching helplessly as household after household falls to the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic. Resource19 hopes to revitalize the American spirit by enabling citizens to contribute to hospitals by connecting them with the resources to begin producing PPE as well as a community to provide support to these efforts. Through Resource19, people have the opportunity show their resilience, showcasing the collective resolve and grit of the American people in the face of a global crisis.

UC Berkeley students Joseph Besgen (B.S. Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences) and John Miller (B.A. Economics) are leading Resource19, an initiative aiming to connect creators with hospitals in need. On the Resource19 website, designers, engineers and makers can explore open source plans for medical supplies currently needed by those on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. Supplies ranging from hospital gowns to ventilator components are in high demand from hospitals. Resource19 seeks to find individuals who can sew, 3D print, laser cut or create other essential PPE. Over the past month, Resource19 has developed a dedicated group of 27 Cal alumni and current students working towards this common goal. 

Open source designs found at resource19.org

Creators using the Resource19 Makerspace can filter through a variety of open source designs for in demand PPE including:

  • Isolation gowns
  • Protective face masks
  • Ventilator splitters
  • Surgical masks

Similar organizations that work to provide hospitals with PPE have helped connect available masks to those on the frontline, however, Resource19 aims to create a scalable, open network that can tap into previously un-utilized resources. While not everyone is able to sew, 3D print, etc., Resource19 encourages people to share this initiative with the creators and engineers in their network.

As earlier generations collected cans for bullets and rolled bandages for first aid kits in WW2, Resource19 hopes that individual Americans and small businesses will contribute to slowing this virus and protecting those on the front lines of hospitals. By mobilizing to open source the designs for vital medical equipment, sew surgical masks, construct gowns, build face shields, and 3D print much-needed materials, we are better positioning ourselves to win the battle against COVID-19. 

What was the inspiration behind starting Resource19?

“During this time we all realized we had a choice to make about what we would do during this time in our lives. We could watch Netflix and stay home or we could use the skills and knowledge we’ve gained here at Berkeley to do what Berkeley students have always done, make the world a better place. That’s why we came together to make resource19.org.” – John Miller

What is your goal for Resource19 moving into the future?

“We hope to help mobilize makers around the nation to create supplies that can aid the ever-increasing demand for PPE in hospitals. Our goal is to help connect these makers and the supplies they create to the hospitals and clinics that are in most need of resources.” – Joseph Besgen

To find out more about Resource19, visit the website here.

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