Orange County Business Journal | Startups & Innovations: Coronavirus Update

By Jessie Yount | The Innovation Institute, a La Palma-based incubator with a Newport Beach lab owned by five nonprofit health systems, is springing into action to solve COVID-19 challenges. 

Joe Randolph
President & CEO
The Innovation Institute

Amid the pandemic, “we’ve seen strategic innovation catapult to the forefront, no longer in the shadows, and we’ve doubled down to expedite projects that can directly impact and improve the health crisis we are in today,” said Joe Randolph, president and chief executive of The Innovation Institute. 

The institute has developed a closed circuit ventilator valve that is compatible with mechanical ventilators. The Baywin Closed Circuit Valve was designed to limit the release of infectious particles and reduce the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia in patients with underlying health conditions, according to Randolph. 

About 3,000 to 5,000 closed circuit valves will be shipped to four health systems including a large academic center in Southern California by the second week of May. 

Other efforts split between the Innovation Institute and Innovation Lab include: 

  • Developing a clothing sterilization device that is designed to kill viruses and pathogens on the spot. The product is in early stages of development; a timeline for the project hasn’t been disclosed. 
  • Sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, face shields, beds and ventilators via portfolio companies and their connections. 
  • Two portfolio companies, FutureSense LLC and InHealth Strategies, are looking to develop a solution to help clinicians manage distress and cope with loss while on the job. 
  • Leveraging the Innovation Institute’s software platform and online portal to mine innovative ideas from frontline workers.  

Randolph added, “Often times, a burning platform will ignite ingenuity and innovation. We are certain that this effort will result in many new products, processes, and solutions that can be brought to market and shared with others.”

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Published by Orange County Business Journal