Microsoft, UPS and health care companies create app so you can donate masks to hospitals
At the center of the initiative is an app and website called HealthEquip.
The service connects donors with hospitals that are most in need based on the amount of staff, the number of COVID-19 patients and other factors. Anyone can donate supplies, though medical-grade tools are preferred, and the donations will be added to a central roster.
Hospitals that sign up can request the equipment they need, and once the system pairs a donor with a recipient, the hospital will cover the shipping costs, and UPS will transport the goods.
"We want to make sure that everybody who wants to contribute supplies has an easy and safe way to do that and a mechanism that's fairly equitable for getting those supplies to the hospitals," said Bechara Choucair, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
Several big companies such as Apple and Tesla have stepped in to bolster the nation's supply of medical equipment by tapping production chains and repurposing factories. Apple pumps out a million protective shields per week, and Tesla has given away hundreds of ventilators.