To help in the fight against COVID-19, humanitarian startup Jupe Health has developed a new type of affordable, shippable hospital room that can be quickly dispatched to crisis zones. A standard flatbed truck can carry up to 24 of the compact shelters, and a cargo ship can pack 500,000 per trip.
The pop-up recovery units cost about 1/30th of what it takes to operate a single room in a standard hospital—Jupe’s chief medical advisor Dr. Esther Choo pins that number at $1 million. "The health system has many overlapping needs right now, and cannot function well without all the pieces in place," says Dr. Choo. "We’re working to plug one of the more complex gaps."
The startup offers three configurations. The smallest is the Jupe Rest, which is designed to offer shelter for hospital workers. Each off-grid-capable unit can be outfitted with a queen or two twin beds, Wi-Fi, climate control, and an optional integrated filtration system. The units start at $14,500.
The Jupe Care is a wellness unit designed for isolating non-critical COVID-19 patients. It does everything the Jupe Rest does, but it adds bathroom fixtures and hospital features like a donning and doffing chamber and ventilator hookups. The soft-top option starts at $52,000.
The third and most robust configuration is the Jupe Plus—an intensive care unit that’s still under development. This offering will start at $99,000.
The shelters with bathroom fixtures won’t require hookups, as they use standard RV equipment for waste disposal. All of the units can be outfitted with solar photovoltaic panels, and they can be plugged into the grid on cloudy days.
While Jupe continues to work on prototyping in Texas, El Paso–based auto manufacturers are at the ready to produce orders for public and private buyers. If interest grows in further reaches of the nation or globe, the designs can be shared with regional manufacturers to speed up production near affected areas.
"Having worked for decades in crisis situations, it is vital to put your health facilities where the epidemic is spreading," says Cameron Sinclair, Jupe’s chief humanitarian advisor. "Having highly deployable recovery units gives us the best chance of fighting COVID-19 and to support our frontline medical professionals."
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