President and CEO Maureen Mulvihill co-founded Actuated Medical in 2006 with a mission to improve medical devices by integrating electronic motion technologies. Since then, the company’s state-of-the-art, minimally invasive products have improved outcomes and reduced healthcare costs for patients across the country. The company’s development process focuses on intellectual property, regulatory, and reimbursement strategies to decrease commercialization risk and attract medical device technology acquisition partnerships.
In March of 2019, as the Coronavirus struck the nation, Actuated Medical quickly pivoted to meet clinicians’ urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and began manufacturing medical-grade, multiuse Face Shields. The shields quickly received praise from the medical professionals who utilized them, so Mulvihill more broadly publicize the produce. To reach the widest audience, she hoped to connect directly with the State of Pennsylvania. Mulvihill, a long-term SBDC client, reached out to Penn State SBDC consultant John Peterson to make the connection.
Penn State SBDC frequently helps clients with government procurement programs, so Peterson was happy to help. He was aware of the newly launched Pennsylvania Critical Medical Supplies Procurement Portal, a web-based platform where manufacturers, distributors, and other suppliers can list supplies and PPE available for purchase. The goal of the site is to enable efficient procurement of PPE for hospitals and medical facilities, so John knew that being added to the site would give Actuated Medical the access they were seeking.
John connected with the Governor’s Action Team to facilitate Actuated Medical’s approval as a vendor on the portal. During his initial conversations, Peterson raised some questions regarding the platform’s limited categories, which did not presently include face shields. He worked through his questions with Brian Ross, Deputy Director for Project Management, who then shared the concern with the Portal’s governing body.
Brian and his team realized that several businesses across the state were being negatively impacted by the lack of product categories, so they worked quickly to resolve the issue. Within a few days, new categories (including face shields) were added to the platform and Actuated Medical was listed on the portal as a recognized as a PPP provider.
Since launch, the company has been able to establish a production line for their shields, a white paper for public safety, and build an inventory. Sales have started to move forward, and units have been donated/sold to health care, banking, and service industries in Centre County as well as various states across the country. The new product line created 8 positions and a possible long-term product for the company.
As Pennsylvania continues to respond to the pandemic and businesses move to reopen, many guidelines are being enacted to protect local citizens. The governor has recently mandated that masks be worn in all public places, including educational institutions. When students go back to school in the fall, Actuated Medical Face Shields will provide a durable, breathable, and easy-to-clean alternative to cloth face masks. Now that they are creating shields in youth sizes, Actuated Medical has submitted bids for state contracts and are awaiting a decision.
Until then, the multi-use shields and white paper are available on the Actuated Medical website. Face Shield prices range from $8 – $12 plus shipping and handling, and the paper is free for public consumption.