Sat 30 Sep 2023
Apple helps develop COVID-19 test kits; boosted output by 4,000%
Apple Health

Apple helps develop COVID-19 test kits; boosted output by 4,000%



COVID-19 test kits have been in short supply, so Apple stepped in to help develop a more efficient manufacturing process for a key supplier, boosting output by almost 4,000% since last April. It saw output rise from thousands per week to over a million.

Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund provided COPAN Diagnostics with both manufacturing expertise and a capital injection of $10M…


Apple announced the news today.

COPAN Diagnostics has now shipped more than 15 million COVID-19 sample collection kits for communities across the country. Teams at Apple, COPAN, and more than a dozen other US companies created innovative processes and developed new machinery for COPAN’s Southern California facilities, increasing test-kit production by close to 4,000 percent since April […]

Since May, COPAN has shipped those sample collection kits to medical facilities across the country, including hospitals in California, Wisconsin, and Texas […]

In order to meet the ongoing demand for testing resources, COPAN accelerated its production and shipping timeline, and built an entire team to ramp this project, hiring nearly 250 new employees who worked alongside Apple engineers, product designers, operations professionals, and others. Together, the teams opened a brand-new facility and set up a state-of-the-art medical supply chain in a matter of weeks to meet the country’s testing needs and help communities shape their responses.

One respiratory virus specialist who has been comparing COVID-19 test kits says that the COPAN ones are the best available.

Dr. Aleta Bonner is a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Temple, Texas, and has been studying the effects of respiratory viruses for more than two decades. When the pandemic caused a dramatic rise in cases in her community, she took time away from pediatric medicine to focus on collecting COVID-19 specimens and conducting a research study that would determine the most effective ways to test for the virus. Her hospital received the COPAN COVID-19 testing kits.

“The preferred specimen swabs are definitely COPAN’s because of their superior collection capabilities,” said Dr. Bonner. “And to hear how they ramped up to support those of us in the healthcare field — that is just an amazing feeling. We’re all in this together because we can only do our job as well as the support that’s behind us.”

Apple said it was proud to have helped.

“We are proud our Advanced Manufacturing Fund is supporting companies like COPAN who are playing a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 and assisting healthcare professionals and communities across the country,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “This collaboration helped produce, ship, and deliver millions of sample collection kits to hospitals from coast to coast — and we believe it is this unique combination of American manufacturing and innovation that will help us emerge from this crisis and build a safer world for us all.”

Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund provides US companies with the capital needed to ramp up production, mostly for tech products. The company says that it has so far invested more than $1.3B and supported over 450,000 US jobs across all 50 US states.

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