COVID CT scanners go global: patients examined quickly in a container

Converted sea containers containing COVID CT scanners for examining corona patients will travel from Eersel around the world. They will be deployed in Peru, Chile, Russia, and England, among other countries. The containers, which are suitable for the medical sector, were designed and made in Eersel by Expandable Healthcare.

β€œWe make these containers because of the coronavirus,” says Martijn Gevers, co-owner of Expandable Healthcare. He founded the company, which employs 25 people, two years ago together with co-owner Michiel Becx. β€œThe expectation is that dozens of containers will cross the world. We work together with companies such as Philips, Siemens, and GE Healthcare. They supply medical equipment, such as CT scanners. The containers have been made suitable for taking a CT scan, so corona-patients can be examined.”

Addition to existing capacity

Because of the corona crisis, Expandable Healthcare has extra work. Gevers: β€œWe notice that there is a demand for our containers and other units in which people can be scanned because there is a capacity problem in a number of places. The mobile COVID CT scanners are an addition to the existing capacity. We expect that there will continue to be a long-term need to check the pulmonary functions of corona patients. The advantage of the containers is that they are fairly easy to ship, so logistical costs are low.”

The containers are about twelve by two and a half meters in size. "They have three rooms. The examination room is where the patient enters and where the CT scanner is located. Next to it is a control room from which the doctor works. From that room, he controls the CT scanner and studies the data. Thus, he does not come into contact with the patient. There is also a technical room, with things like the air conditioning and a water system, to keep everything running.”

The Eersel-based company not only designs and makes containers. β€œWe make mobile healthcare applications like trailers and transportable units with the underlying idea of making healthcare accessible to everyone. Therefore, we target governments, hospitals, hospital groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as private healthcare institutions worldwide.”

Michiel Becx and Martijn Gevers with a COVID CT scanner

Better accessibility

With the mobile workspace, Expandable Healthcare has developed something new. β€œWe can place the mobile workspace at ground level. When the unit is detached from the truck, it first stands on the ground with hydraulic legs before we use a remote control to take the axle system out from under it. Then it lowers down and we can expand it in width. The advantage is that the workspace is more accessible to patients. No stairs or elevators are needed anymore."

The mobile units are similar to trailers but do not have an axle system underneath when in use. Several mobile units are being created in Eersel. The working areas of the trailer and movable unit are larger than in the container because they can be extended in width. Instead of two and a half meters, they are then five meters wide.

Gevers: β€œSome are equipped with medical equipment such as MRI, PET, or COVID CT scanners. Others are used by dentists or as laboratories. While some have also been made suitable as examination rooms for doctors. For example, one with three examination rooms is ready. That one is going to the Bahamas where relief organization International Medical Corps will use it.”

This page was last updated on April 14, 2023. The content of this page was written and approved by Berrie Rieswijk.