Program 4 - CIMIT MAIN

COVID-19 Response: Nontraditional Medical Supplies and Equipment

This free service is offered to the innovation community who can help by sharing ways to help keep healthcare workers safe and effective during shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthcare providers the world over have significant concerns about the lack of supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE), including face shields, surgical masks, gowns, and N95 respirators, as well as equipment such as ventilators to support the care of COVID-19 patients. The CDC has warned of the fragility of our supply chain for at least a month. Based on information provided by clinicians caring for patients in Italy, a huge supply and equipment shortage is anticipated in the US within the coming weeks. Even with the increased production from existing suppliers and the release of supplies from stocks such as the US Strategic National Stockpile, demand is expected to far exceed supply.

These shortages have motivated many well-meaning individuals, companies, universities, and other groups to create new designs from commonly available materials, modify existing medical equipment, or recondition devices for reuse in nonstandard ways. Some of these efforts will contribute to alleviating the shortages of critical supplies. Some will not be effective. Some will be dangerous and should be discouraged.

Other groups are working to create nontraditional medical supply and equipment (NMSE) solutions to the same problem at the same time without communicating or working under a common specification –hence a great deal of inefficiency.

This site attempts to address these issues by offering a common framework to specify, facilitate, and share the development of locally made or modified medical supplies and equipment along with standards for vetting and documenting their performance for use during emergencies.

How it Works

Upload Designs or Protocols

  • Upload your design or modifications to existing equipment aka “nontraditional medical supplies & equipment” (NMSEs).
  • Upload protocols for users to assess the testing of the NMSEs to ensure effectiveness.

Check the Specs

  • Check your NMSE performance against our expert panel based “minimally viable specifications” (MVS) for select medical supplies and equipment that can be made or modified in nontraditional ways (e.g. by local “makers”) for use during supply emergencies;
  • Review protocols to evaluate proposed NMSEs relative to the MVS.
  • Make revisions to your specs or protocols based on the MVS and resubmit.

Review and Refine

  • We will attempt to provide rapid review and feedback to help teams refine submissions teams to support NMSEs and associated test protocols.


  • Quick publication of designs and protocols for expert panel vetted submissions allows for "Makers" and users of NMSEs to determine appropriate for a given circumstance.

Get Started

  1. Follow this link to access the submission site.
  2. Provide demographic information to help us steer your submission to the right expert group.
  3. Upload a description of the proposed solution and get feedback from a panel of experts.
  4. Download the MVS document specific to your type of solution and complete the fields as best you can.
  5. Re-open the submission and upload the completed MVS document.
  6. Submit your information for rapid review by a panel of experts.
  7. The expert panel will either request changes or approve for publication.
  8. The site will be reopened to teams, if needed, to make changes to submissions.
  9. Once approved, the information will be made available for Makers to implement and validate to be available to Users 
Submit a Product or Validation Solution

CIMIT makes no representations about submissions to the site. Submissions are solely the responsibility of the submitting author(s).