(WJBF) – Groundbreaking technology from Augusta University researchers will be used to help test patients at Windermere.
NewsChannel 6 has learned, AU will be making 3-D printed nasal swabs to use in testing residents at Windermere with the help of the Georgia National Guard. AU Health’s CEO, Dr. Katrina Keefer says, “This could provide a scalable way to test a lot more people, a lot faster.”
If the testing from Windermere proves successful, the 3-D testing technology could be used statewide as Georgia ramps up its testing efforts. Brig. Gen. Randall V. Simmons Jr. says,
“We are proud of our Georgia National Guard medical professionals for stepping up to fight this invisible enemy and grateful to partner with Augusta University (AU) to help test their new 3D printed swabs. These swabs are critically short in the supply chain and thanks to the innovative efforts of AU we should be able to expand testing efforts statewide. This would not be possible without other partners like Windermere Nursing Home’s support to testing with these new instruments to keep their residents and staff safe,”
The AU Health prototype COVID swab was engineering by faculty at Augusta University and includes a flexible stick with a bristled end. The creation was prompted by the short supply of swabs nationwide as the two of the top makers of those swabs struggle to keep up with demand.“This is just one more way the state’s public academic medical center is helping to slow the spread of the virus,” said Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD. “We’re grateful to the Governor and state leaders for allowing Augusta University the opportunity to do what we do best.”
Regarding the testing of Windermere patients, the District Vice President of Operations for Sava Senior Care Matt Tolbert says, the decision to move this route was challenging, but protecting the residents and staff is a priority and consider the partnership with AU the right thing to do. Tolbert adds, “Very few of Georgia’s nursing homes have taken such aggressive action primarily because testing simply isn’t available on that scale. We’re now working with AU Health to be the center of a much larger effort that could support the State of Georgia and other nursing homes.”
The news of the 3-D printed swab testing comes after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp congratulated Augusta University publicly for its fight against COVID and pointed Georgia residents toward AU’s telehealth screening app.
The testing of Windermere residents began today.
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