Apple grant helps ship millions of test kits for COVID-19 research
The sample collection kits will help researchers learn more about the disease to improve testing and treatment.
Vanessa Hand OrellanaCNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
investment in the fight against COVID-19 is paying off. The company announced Monday that over 15 million sample collection kits made by COPAN Diagnostics have been shipped across the US, thanks in large part to Apple's $10 million grant.
The testing kits are being used by hospitals to collect specimens of the disease to aid research in the search for better testing and treatment options.
"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.
Apple has also made and distributed face shields and masks to medical workers on the front lines and started America's Food Fund in partnership with Laurene Powell Jobs and Leonardo DiCaprio, a group aiming "to feed the country's most vulnerable populations" during the pandemic.
To ramp up production and shipping, COPAN hired nearly 250 new employees and opened an entire new facility in California. The team worked alongside Apple engineers, product designers and operations professionals to set up a dedicated supply chain that resulted in a 4,000% increase in its test-kit production since April of 2020.
"It means a lot that I was given a chance to work in such a different industry, and for a company that contributes to something greater," says Gabriela Jiménez, manufacturing supervisor at COPAN.
The facility has also been a new source of employment for people like Jimenez who were left jobless as the result of the pandemic.
As part of the fund Apple has invested over $1.3 billion to support manufacturing and innovation within the United States.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.