Rheaply (pronounced REE-plee), a climate tech leader that combines a resource-sharing network with a user-friendly asset management platform, and the Department of Computer Science in the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University today announced the launch of an Emergency Resource Exchange (ERx), a new exchange platform designed for and dedicated specifically to connecting organizations with much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical medical supplies, with an initial focus on the State of Illinois.
As COVID-19 continues to spread among communities all around the world, the need for PPE, such as N95 masks and gowns, and other medical items, such as testing kits and ventilators, is dire. Yet many healthcare providers and first responders are facing supply shortages, causing them to have to resort to improvise with materials around them that are less safe; this not only hampers their work to fight the virus, but puts these essential workers in danger. With only 10% of the national stockpile of medical supplies now remaining, it is clear that the need for supplies will soon become critical.
ERx aims to address this issue by helping direct these supplies to the places where the need is most required. The platform, an adaptation of Rheaply’s flagship Asset Exchange Manager (AxM)™, allows healthcare providers and other essential workers to quickly request the items they need and suppliers across Illinois to donate resources such as surplus equipment or newly manufactured goods. Examples of target users who can benefit from Rheaply include those providing healthcare in hospitals, homeless shelters, prisons, nursing homes, childcare facilities, and community-based healthcare centers. Target users who may be able to help not only include manufacturers of medical supplies, but also folks like veterinarians, dentists, and research lab students, who have been relatively untapped and might be better positioned to give during this time.
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“Our goal at Rheaply has always been to help make organizations access and use supplies more efficiently,” said Garry Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Rheaply. “Now, with COVID-19 and the threat it poses, we saw a pressing need to create a solution that removes the barriers of supply chain and procurement processes. We are working hard to get more manufacturers on this platform so we can make even more supplies available to the people who need them most.”
“The most powerful aspect of this work is that everyone involved — Rheaply, Northwestern, and Kin + Carta — are all focused solely on the goal of getting the application in the hands of the people who need it as soon as possible,” said Kristian Hammond, Bill and Cathy Osborn Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University. “All issues of ego, credit, and costs that usually get in the way vanished in the face of the need and how we could work together to meet it.”
A leader in the circular economy, Rheaply (pronounced REE-plee) enables companies to share and sell physical assets within and between organizations on its modernized asset management platform. With Rheaply’s Asset Exchange Manager (AxM)™, organizations in a number of verticals, including higher education, healthcare, technology, government, and retail, can gain transparency about and utilize available assets, which enables them to decrease procurement costs, storage costs, and unnecessary waste. To learn more about Rheaply, visit rheaply.com or follow @RheaplyInc.