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Your smartphone app pings you with its daily check-in question.
But your healthcare providers already know how you’re doing: They’re monitoring your oxygen levels, pulse rate and other vital signs through new single-patient-use wearable technology that tracks respiratory illness anywhere, including in the comfort of your home.
For hospitals taking careful measures to limit COVID-19 exposure among healthcare workers, patients and others, it’s game-changing technology. The device leverages a tiny embedded chip from our company and snaps into a wristband to process vital sign data while patients shelter at home. It’s one of the many solutions we’re supporting to fight the pandemic.
Masimo, a global medical technology company based in Irvine, Calif., was already developing the technology when COVID-19 hit. Our company helped Masimo fast-track production so that it could be used to monitor patients with mild cases of the virus.
“Patient monitoring with Masimo SafetyNet™ can help hospitals care for patients at home,” said Bilal Muhsin, Chief Operating Officer of Masimo. “TI has helped us ramp up production and quickly get our solutions to the people who are helping on the front lines now, because the need is immediate.
‘It’s become a rallying cry for the team’
Bert Brown wakes up at 3 a.m. to check on silicon wafers.
For him, it’s personal. The planning manager of DMOS5, one of our wafer fabrication factories in Dallas, has a daughter who works at a local hospital. This group of wafers for Masimo will play a critical role in technology that decreases the risk of COVID-19 infection for healthcare workers like her.
It’s an order he can’t help but lose sleep over.
“The faster we get these to the customer, the less personal protective equipment and hospital beds will be needed and the less risk the frontline healthcare workers face,” he said. “It has become a rallying cry for the team.”
"We realize that this is not just about meeting our commitment – we are playing a part in this pandemic. Our technology can help the world win this battle.”
– Fersie Cabotaje, manufacturing planner in Clark, Philippines
The rallying cry reached all the way to Clark, Philippines, where a skeleton crew expedited final wafer processing and closely monitored the order. As a result, processing time was reduced by 75% – a speed that’s almost unheard of for the team.
To date, our company has shipped enough material for Masimo to create hundreds of thousands of monitors globally.
“We realize that this is not just about meeting our commitment – we are playing a part in this pandemic,” said Fersie Cabotaje, a manufacturing planner in Clark. “Our technology can help the world win this battle.”
‘A supplier with a sense of social responsibility’
Our customers around the world have seen demand soar for multiple technologies on the front lines of the COVID-19 response – including ventilators, oxygen concentrators, infrared thermometers, CT scanners and other medical equipment.
As chest X-rays emerged as a frontline diagnostic imaging test for the virus, a biomedical electronics company in Shenzhen, China, needed help with emergency production of its equipment. Our company reacted fast to meet the increased demand, coordinate internal production and prioritize the need. The customer’s medical equipment was manufactured and delivered quickly to hospitals in the area hardest hit by the coronavirus in China and Italy.
“With TI’s support, Mindray produced and delivered medical equipment to the hospitals in the pandemic areas for patients’ emergency treatment in time,” said Minghe Cheng, president of Mindray. “We need a supplier with a sense of social responsibility like TI, and we expect your company to continue to support our production and make joint contributions to fight the pandemic.”
Will Qiu, sales manager for the account, said helping Mindray made him feel like he’s made an individual contribution to the fight against the pandemic.
“I want more TIers to realize the value of working in TI, and feel that we are not only doing our job, but also contributing to society,” he said.
Screening for COVID-19 as economies re-open
As nations develop plans to re-open their economies, our customers have looked to our mmWave radar technology to develop mass screening devices, such as SymptomSense. The solution is designed to check hundreds of people per hour for virus symptoms. The sensor can quickly detect basic vital signs that could indicate illness, including heart rate and breathing rate.
As our employees worldwide help medical equipment companies innovate and accelerate their solutions, they feel a sense of pride for helping create a better world through electronics.
"Teams are working day and night," said Ajinder Singh, general manager, Medical sector, Systems Engineering & Marketing. "We are all in this together. It affects all of us. It's personal."
For all the TI employees working to support our customers and communities during this time, we thank you.
As Jonah Espelita logged off from his TI computer for the day, he booted up another one: It was time to focus on his second job, one that would keep him working into the early morning hours.
From about 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. every evening, Jonah volunteered as a core developer and operations manager writing software that allows front-line relief workers to show contact-free digital passes and move smoothly through security checkpoints in Manila, Philippines.
The initiative, RapidPass, started with 100 volunteers who had technical expertise and wanted to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts. It’s now an integral part of the government infrastructure. Nearly 230,000 quick-response (QR) codes have been issued to allow easy passage for vehicles delivering healthcare, food and other necessities.
Jonah is among many TI employees around the world who volunteer their time to support COVID-19 relief efforts. And as the world responds to the immediate and longer-term impacts of the pandemic, our company is supporting our employees and customers and caring for our communities.
“It’s amazing to see how much a driven group of volunteers from all around the country can accomplish in a short time while working on a common goal,” said Jonah, who works in Baguio as an application developer in our company’s IT group. “It’s possible to contribute in a very real and concrete way to help the front-liners risking their lives in this crisis, even when you’re stuck at home.”
Help where it’s most needed
Alexander Hoisl and Florian Carstens felt an adrenaline jolt when the emergency alarm blared from their smartphones in mid-March. Within 24 hours, together with a team of specialists, they needed to set up a delivery logistics system to distribute medical supplies throughout southeastern Germany.
The two TI employees had been preparing for this moment. They volunteer with the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in Freising, Germany, which provides organizational and logistical help in emergency situations.
“We help where it’s most needed, so that others can stay home and be safe,” said Florian, a test manager.
From setting up drive-through testing to transporting critical medical supplies to hospitals, nursing and retirement homes throughout Bavaria, the organization has become a key behind-the-scenes partner for COVID-19 relief efforts. Alexander and Florian volunteer several times a week – often responding to same-day requests for help – supporting the expansion of hospitals, packing palettes with disinfectants and personal protective gear, or working late into the night to pack and sort goods urgently needed across the country.
“TI is such a great employer — they have the greatest understanding and have been willing to move mountains to make my volunteering commitments possible,” said Alexander, an environmental safety technician in Freising. “This helps our communities stay strong.”
‘The demand for food is high’
At 4 a.m. on April 16, a long line of cars began to form at Fair Park in Dallas. In five hours, The North Texas Food Bank would be distributing free meals through its mobile pantry.
From mid-March to mid-April, the nonprofit fed more than 12,000 families. More than half of those families were new clients.
To help with response efforts, TI and the TI Foundation have committed more than $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts in communities where we operate around the world, including to organizations such as United Way, the North Texas Food Bank, and the Second Harvest Food Bank in the Bay Area.
“The demand for food is high,” said Trisha Cunningham, who is the North Texas Food Bank’s president and CEO and a former TIer. “People are living from unemployment check to unemployment check. We couldn't feed them without large-scale donations from companies like TI.”
The stark rise in hunger is being felt across the globe. In India, the nationwide lockdown has triggered vast hunger relief needs among migrants, daily wage earners and others. To help, TI India employees raised money for Akshaya Patra, a nonprofit organization that distributes free meals.
“We matched our employees’ gifts, and the total donation to Akshaya Patra will be close to $136,000 – enough to provide around 575,000 meals to low-income people,” said Aditya Salian, community relations manager for TI India. “I feel proud to work for a company that’s committed to supporting our communities through this global crisis.”
‘We feel responsible to help’
To support the most immediate, critical needs in our communities, our company has given direct financial support and donations of personal protective equipment to relief efforts in Germany, India, Israel, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and China.
“Our factory has been an important part of this community for 35 years,” said Sunthary Valushamie, TI Mexico HR director, who spearheaded the local donation effort for personal protective equipment going to clinics, a doctors association and orphanage, and a cash donation to Cruz Roja Mexicana (Red Cross). “Our people coming to work here belong to this community, so we feel responsible to help.”
TIers across the globe feel the same sense of responsibility and commitment.
“There is a Chinese saying that when one area is in trouble, all sides will come to help,” said Erica Li, who is a member of our company’s security team in Shenzhen, China, and also leads the Community Involvement Team there. “Especially for an infectious virus, it is a hard fight for everyone, not just the patients or afflicted area. Let’s fight together and look forward to the day when our life is back to normal.”
Matt Hein sits at the kitchen table with his 3-month-old son on his lap. He emails a customer about brushless motors – technology at the heart of medical ventilators in high demand around the world – as Anderson wiggles against his arm.
“In ventilators, brushless motors blow air in and out of the lungs,” said Matt, who manages a small team of applications engineers who help design semiconductor circuits for the motors. “We’ve got customers who need our devices right away, so questions are flooding in. Many days, I’m on the phone from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.”
Until a few weeks ago, he would have handled those calls at his Dallas office. Today – like members of his team, our customers and many others around the world – he’s embraced the new reality of a digital workplace. And like thousands of other TI employees, he’s found a way to adapt and succeed in a world that's ever-changing.
All the while, he’s helping his wife meet the needs of their newborn.
“We have a baby, so everything is a matter of priorities for me,” he said. “If my wife needs me to comfort the baby, I will do that. After that, I handle the next most-important thing. There is enough time in the day to deal with everything.”
And having a strong team is critical to this balance.
“Our team is made up of problem-solvers,” he said. “Working virtually is a hurdle. How do we overcome it? How do we get done what needs to get done? We have a problem-solving attitude.”
Caring for a relative
While TIers like Matt are unexpectedly caring for children at home during the COVID-19 crisis, others, like Thomas Lewis, are taking care of a parent.
When Thomas learned earlier this year that his father, Oliver, had only a few months to live, he and his sister planned to take long weekends off work so they could travel to his home in West Virginia and share his care. But they faced another unexpected challenge: A third-party company that had agreed to provide care when they couldn’t be there drastically reduced its services when the virus hit.
Today – thanks to a benefit that gives employees four weeks of paid time off to manage personal situations they are facing because of COVID-19 – Thomas is able to work partial days remotely and spend time caring for his father.
“Because of TI, my dad is able to stay home for the last six months of his life,” said Thomas, who is an applications and marketing manager in New Hampshire. “That’s invaluable. And he’s at peace. Every night, he thanks me for being there with him. He’s not in a nursing home or a hospice center where no one can see him, and I’m very grateful.”
Virtual, but not alone
Andrew Kling, a field applications engineering manager, talks to customers all day from a makeshift desk in the small Seattle high-rise apartment he shares with his fiancé. Because of COVID-19, they have rescheduled their destination wedding in Greece, which was originally set for late May.
His customers – companies that manufacture data center servers and personal electronics devices – are experiencing more demand as people now working from home need more Internet bandwidth.
“People are using more Internet and needing monitors, laptops and other equipment to get home offices set up,” he said.
Since Andrew and his team no longer can spend time face-to-face, they have taken time to relax together during a virtual happy hour.
“Everyone showed up with their favorite drinks and expressed what they were feeling,” he said. “That helped people feel like they’re not going through this alone. Some of our team members are single. Others had kids running around in the background. Some are learning how to homeschool their children. It was nice to see everybody’s face again on our video call.”
Learning, evolving and improving
The daily schedule for Whitney Jodry’s three children is prominently placed on a kitchen counter in her Dallas home. Managing “mom school” – as she calls her unexpected foray into teaching her third-grade, first-grade and pre-kindergarten children – has required some creativity as she also juggles the demands of a leading a global team.
“When life presents challenges like this, how we learn, evolve and get better as individuals, as employees and as a business is important,” said Whitney, who leads our company’s corporate communications team. “We’re learning that people can be highly productive, resilient and adaptive. As a working mother, I’m grateful to work for a company that values my professional and personal roles.”
When Omar Badar learned his hobbyist friends were 3D-printing face shields for healthcare workers on the front lines of COVID-19, it sparked an idea.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” said Omar, who is an assembly engineering manager for our company in Malaysia. “I'm glad we get to leverage our resources to help.”
Omar researched 3D-printed face shield designs online, began initial programming work and put together a proposal for production at our manufacturing site in Kuala Lumpur. His design for faster, easier assembly cut printing time in half. Three days later, he had the first prototype.
“It was important to come up with a more efficient design for production,” Omar said. “We’re now printing about 20 face shields per day and will deliver them weekly to public healthcare providers.”
Omar and the team at TI Malaysia are part of a growing movement worldwide to utilize 3D printing for medical gear and supplies – including masks, face shields and testing swabs – amid growing shortages as the COVID-19 pandemic strains global supply.
In addition, TI has committed $250,000 for Malaysia and $250,000 for the Philippines to support the fight against COVID-19 and the devastating effects it has had on local communities.
“While our nation is on lockdown, we come to the site every day to make these masks,” he said.
“Seeing our community work together has been very uplifting during all this tragedy.”
- Doni Dorak, former TIer
Like Omar, 12-year-old Donald Dorak is a natural problem-solver.
After all, both his parents are engineers – they met while working on TI DLP® Technology 20 years ago. So when he came across the idea of 3D-printing masks while searching “hack COVID” on the internet, he felt compelled to become part of the solution.
“We had a 3D printer sitting in our house that we planned to donate to Donald’s school,” said his mom, Doni Dorak, a former TIer. “It was supposed to be installed over his spring break. I showed Donald the online training for setting up the design, and he ran with it.”
Doni contacted the organization that shared the mask design online – Make the Masks, founded by two doctors who tested the design for safety – and quickly became the Texas campaign coordinator. The organization refers volunteers to Doni and helps her distribute the masks.
Doni reached out to neighbors about the effort, and before she knew it, 11 more 3D printers in their North Texas community were churning out five masks per day. And the whole Dorak family has gotten involved – her eldest son, Daniel, created a website to coordinate volunteers and field requests. Mark Dorak, Doni’s husband and a customer quality engineer for DLP Products, assembles and sands down each mask before it’s distributed.
“We’ve got a good production line going,” Doni said. “I’m proud that this started with a child who cared, and then we reached out to our neighbors and worked together as a family to make a positive difference.”
The organization has distributed masks to elderly neighbors, nurses, doctors, firefighters and others. They sent 10 masks to New York with a local medical volunteer. She’s connecting with groups like North Texas Mask Makers that help bridge the gap between volunteers and health care organizations in need, and is working with a local healthcare organization to get masks approved for clinical use.
“What moved me the most was seeing hospital workers in tears,” Doni said. “This has been so overwhelming, and you feel so helpless. Seeing our community work together has been very uplifting during all this tragedy.”
Innovating through challenging times
Owners of 3D printers – engineers, hobbyists, DIYers and others – have a natural drive to find new solutions to problems during a crisis, said James Lobsenz, director of marketing for SprintRay, Inc.
But SprintRay also found that its customers – dental professionals using 3D printers with TI DLP Technology – wanted to help. So the company hosted a webinar about how to use their printers to make personal protective equipment.
“TI DLP Technology will produce four-to-seven times more throughput than other technology. With the level of shortage we think we’re seeing, speed is going to be a lot more important.”
- James Lobsenz, marketing director, SprintRay, Inc.
“Our core customer base is focused on healthcare, so it seems like a natural opportunity to leverage their clinical knowledge and our technology to help out in a time like this,” James said. “While these masks are not intended to replace N95 respirator masks, we hope we can offset the demand for those masks in the general population and preserve the supply of N95 masks for front-line caregivers.”
The company may also use their 3D printers to create COVID-19 testing swabs to address shortages as demand skyrockets. The printers’ TI DLP Technology gives production time an edge, creating 300 swabs in five hours compared to 24 hours on a similar-sized machine that uses laser-galvo technology.
“TI DLP Technology will produce four-to-seven times more throughput than other technology,” James said. “With the level of shortage we think we’re seeing, speed is going to be a lot more important.”
Trevor Dowd, product marketing engineer for TI DLP Pico™ Light Control, said he’s been impressed with SprintRay’s creative use of 3D printers to help medical professionals and the general public in need of protective masks and testing swabs.
“I think everyone at TI is inspired by the innovative ways our technology is being used to help during these challenging times,” he said.