An online platform has launched in France that directly connects manufacturers of essential coronavirus healthcare equipment with hospitals on the front line.
The site StopCOVID19.fr is run by startup Mirakl, which specialises in creating online marketplaces, along with the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance.
It launched five days ago and has already provided hospitals in France with around 20,000 face masks and 20,000 litres of hand sanitising gel.
The software engineers behind the project say it took just two days to build and believe it could be adapted for use in other countries with relative ease.
In France alone more than 25,000 people have tested positive and 1,300 of those died after contracting COVID-19.
Mirakl CEO, Philippe Corrot, said: ‘This platform is a testament to the power of collaboration: bringing together tech, government, producers and distributors into one place.
‘It’s a testament to the agility and efficiency of businesses to expand their reach and range, and pivot into any category depending on the need.’
The marketplace is currently prioritising sanitiser and masks as they are the most essential pieces of kit in preventing infection of healthcare professionals.
However it is hoping to rapidly include other protective equipment and to hospitals.
Mirakl says many of the vendors on the site are giving the items away to hospitals for free or minimal cost.
The marketplace is not open to anybody to buy and sell goods,buyers have to be from a verified health facility and all sellers must be legitimate companies focusing on manufacturing coronavirus-related items.
The French government screens all sellers that are listed on the marketplace.