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Transforming PPE in healthcare! Here the report by ‘Rethinking PPE’, a collaborative effort of over 50 individuals from different global organisations active in the health sector.

Since 2020, our lab has been supporting the work that the Global Community of biomedical and clinical engineers is doing with United Nations in order to face this pandemic. In the framework of his collaboration as Innovation Manager for the PPE Pillar of the WHO Blueprint and COVID-19 initiative, our lab Director, Prof Leandro Pecchia, contributed to the writing of the ‘Rethinking PPE’ report. This was a collaborative effort of over 50 individuals from different global organisations active in the health sector, including the WHO, UNICEF, The World Bank, The Global Fund, US CDC, and top universities including the MIT, Johns Hopkins, UCL, University of Colorado, University of Warwick. The effort was coordinated by McKinsey & Company .

The main conclusion of the report is that transforming the PPE ecosystem will require five coordinated shifts:

  1. Catalysing PPE innovation:
  2. Improving standards and quality
  3. Expanding and diversifying manufacturing capacity:
  4. Strengthening procurement practices;
  5. Improving usage and disposal.

"Until the arrival of the pandemic, the importance of PPE seemed to be unknown to most, and above all absent from the research and innovation priorities of all the main research councils.", Prof Pecchia says. "The only ones who have stubbornly worked on PPE since the recent Ebola outbreaks have been the stubborn members of the WHO, in particular Adriana Velazquez Berumen, and the Emergency and Infection Control and Prevention Units, headed by Benedetta Allegranzi and April Baller. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this vision came from three extraordinary women".
Warwick main contribution to this report was probably in the analysis of the inadequacy of PPE regulatory frameworks in time of crisis and in resource-limited setting scenarios (Pecchia et al, 2020).


Fri 06 Aug 2021, 13:05 | Tags: Clinical Engineering, LMIC, WHO, pandemic

15 March: Covid-19 pandemic: Social and Healthcare dynamic impact in Benin - WICID - ABSPIE

Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020, after the first infections in China at the end of 2019, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a global emergency and continued to spread across the world. No country, including Republic of Benin in Africa and Italy in Europe, has been able to escape this disease. Its impact on human health, is disrupting an interconnected world economy through global value chains, given the impact on the entire world population and the economy.

In Benin, from 14th March 2020, the evolution of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is epidemiologically recorded at 3363 cases confirmed, 95 cases recovered, 46 case dead (January 2021).

Even if the social contexts seem very different, the pandemic creates in healthcare systems of all around the world, a generalized condition of low-resource settings (LRSs), i.e., environments lacking means, specific knowledge, specialized personnel, medical devices, and drugs, and with inappropriate medical locations. In fact, while this condition was already familiar to low- and middle-income countries, COVID-19 has overwhelmingly reported LRS conditions in high-income countries, such as Europe. In addition, the social and ethical impact of the pandemic calls sociology and bioethics to reflect on the perception that the population has of this situation, i.e. the possibility to respect the measures of isolation, the availability of personal protection equipment, the criteria for access to the scarce health resources available.

Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre For International Development

Applied Biomedical Signal Processing and Intelligent e-Health Lab

15 March 2021 • 10-11am (UK time)

Alessia Maccaro - University of Warwick

Leandro Pecchia - University of Warwick

Davide Piaggio - University of Warwick

Marius Vignigbé - University of Abomey-Calavi

Roch A. Houngnihin - University of Abomey-Calavi

Mon 15 Mar 2021, 09:56 | Tags: LMIC, COVID19, Wellbeing, GlobalHealth, Africa

ABSPIE in Benin: field study on medical device working conditions and the application of international directives

Three members of the lab, are in Benin, Africa, to perform two field studies.

Davide Piaggio and Busola Oronti are two PhD student with a background in biomedical engineering and medical devices. Both are IFMBE Clinical Engineering Division collaborators. In this field study Davide and Busola are testing medical devices considering international standards and regulations for electric safety.

In fact, it is know that medical devices in Africa struggle to work as in Europe, but there is no evidence of the real reasons why this is. The aim of this study is to produce evidence on reasons why medical devices fail to work safely and effectively. This will inform the design of more resilient medical devices.

Meanwhile Alessia Maccaro, Philosopher with a PhD in bioethics, is investigates the implications of adopting EU regulations in Africa. Our hypothesis is that the uncritical adoption of international regulations can result in risky and unethical working conditions.

abspie in Africaabspie in Africaabspie in Africaabspie in Africaabspie in Africaabspie in Africaabspie in Africa

Sat 30 Nov 2019, 11:01 | Tags: Clinical Engineering, LMIC, WHO, #GlobalCEDay, BME, GlobalHealth

11th of October 2018, European Parliament Interest Group on Biomedical Engineering (EPIG BME) Meeting in the European Parliament

Since 2015, Dr Pecchia has coordinated the collaboration among the European Alliance of Medical and Biological Engineering and Science (EAMBES) and the European Parliament through the establishment of the first European Parliament Interest Group on Biomedical Engineering (EPIG BME).

In the framework of this collaboration, the second EPIG BME meeting was organised in the European Parliament the 11th of October 2018. The final agenda is below and the relevant twits are available at 

This meeting brought together WHO representatives, ‘African, Caribbean and Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) representatives and the most influential BME representatives form 4 continents (i.e., Europe, USA, Africa and Asia) via their scientific associations: the International Federation of Medical and Biomedical Engineering (IFMBE), International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) and their umbrella organization the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine (IUPESM).

The topics discussed during the meeting where three:

· recognise BME as independent profession, by including BME as independent discipline in the ESCO database;

· to provide an independent space for research in biomedical engineering field creating a BME panel in the 3 European schemes for excellent science (e.g., ERC, FET and MSCA)

· establish stable collaboration with Africa Union in order to help them harmonizing their regulations on medical devices and medical locations among different African Courtiers and with the European one


The meeting was very well attended, with eminent and competent representatives from the European Parliament, European Commission, WHO and four Scientific Societies (EAMBES, IFMBE, IUPESM, IOMP).

· EPIG BME Parliamentary Members: Nicola Caputo (Italy, chair), Lara Comi (Italy, video), Neena Gill (UK, present), Lojze Peterle (Slovenia, not present, Peterle’s assistants), Marijana Petir (Croatia, present at the opening, Petir’ assistants stayed for all the meeting), Davor Škrlec (Croatia, present) and Cécile Kyenge (Italy, participated for 30min due to other commitments).

· European Commission Member: Bernd Rainer, DG Research (present).

· Speakers: Prof Panayiotis Kyriacou (UK, EAMBES President); Dr Umberto Bracale (Italy, Assistant Prof of Surgery at the University Federico II of Naples); Miss Tanja Valentin (Belgium, Director External Affairs, MedTech Europe); Prof Jari Hyttinen (Finland, EAMBES Fellow Chair); Dr Ashenafi Hussein (Ethiopia, IFMBE African Working Group on Biomedical Engineering); Miss Adriana Velazquez (Switzerland, Focal Point of Medical Devices at World Health Organization, WHO); Dr Leandro Pecchia (UK, University of Warwick and IUPESM Secretary General).

· Open discussion: moderators: Prof Shankar Krishnan (USA, IFMBE President); Prof Timo Jämsä (Finland, EAMBES Elected President), Prof Ratko Magjarevic (Croatia, IFMBE Elected President), Prof Marc Nyssen (Belgium, IFMBE Treasurer), Prof Slavik Tabakov (UK, IUPESM Past President), Prof Nicolas Pallikarakis (Greece, EAMBES), Dr Ernesto Iadanza (Italy, Chair IFMBE HTA Division), Prof Steven Keevil (UK, IUPESM), Mr Mariano Votta (Italy, Cittadinanzattiva), Dr Stefano Bergamasco (Italy, AIIC), Dr Antonella Belotti (Italy, Medical Doctor), Dr Carmelo De Maria (Italy, University of Pisa), Dr Peter Grainger (Irland, Naas General Hospital), Dr Magdalena Stoeva (Bulgaria, Medical University of Plovdiv), Dr Almir Badnjevic (Bosnia and Herzegovina, International BURCH University) and Dr Giuseppe Braghieri (Italy, Medical Doctor).

The ABSPIEH was represented by Dr Leandro Pecchia and Dr Rossana Castaldo.

EPIG Meeting attendeesEPIG BME meeting October 2018EPIB BME meeting - debriefing at Warwick Office in BrusselsEPIG BME October 2018 meeting

Mon 10 Dec 2018, 14:56 | Tags: HTA, Clinical Engineering, IFMBE, LMIC, WHO, BME

Warwick Biomedical Engineering to the IUPESM World Congress of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

The International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences (IUPESM) is the umbrella organization for the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) and International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE). This union is regarded as the world scientific society for biomedical engineering and medical physics and federates more than 100 national societies from all the 6 continents, and the main transnational societies such as IEEE EMBSor EAMBES.

Each 3-years, the IUPESM organizes the World Congress on Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering, which this year was in Prague (WC2018).

This was the first time that the University of Warwick was so well and successfullyrepresented in this important event!

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