News

  • PACID nominated for 3D Pioneers Challenge
    The 3D Pioneers Challenge is aimed at designers who are breaking new ground in the field of 3D printing and who understand the key trends in the industry. Together with Messe Erfurt, the 3DPC is reacting to the corona-related cancellation of Rapid.Tech 3D.

    The 3D Pioneers Challenge has published the finalists of the international design competition for additive manufacturing technologies on their homepage. More than 50 finalists made it onto the shortlist in the multi-stage jury process and helpfulETH’s PACID system for communication in infectious environments is one of them!

    Head over to 3D Pioneers Challenge’s Homepage to read more about them!

  • Transition into Hibernation Phase

    With the extraordinary situation in Switzerland ending and almost all restrictions lifted, we at helpfulETH are also moving into a new phase. Most of our volunteers returned to their work outside of helpfulETH, yet a small team remains to coordinate the shipping of already manufactured solutions. This team will also continuously monitor the situation and, in case there is a need for our help, reactivate helpfulETH. Indicators that trigger such a reactivation include, but are not limited to, the government anew upgrading the situation status in terms of the Epidemics Act to extraordinary, or a high influx of support requests from the healthcare sector.

    To the 150+ scientists, engineers, students, or industry professionals who investigated issues, designed products, 3D-printed prototypes, offered their expertise, or gave us access to their factories: Thank you for your hard work and dedication during this extraordinary time. This initiative would not have been possible without you.

    For any questions, please contact helpful@ethz.ch

  • D-MAVT news on helpfulETH

    “Special times require special measures” – read more about helpfulETH on D-MAVT’s homepage!

    Click on the image to reach the article (text in German).
  • ETH Ambassadors Blog

    Head over to the ETH Ambassadors Blog to read about how we learn and work together during times like these. A new post about helpfulETH!

  • #mavtathome

    Head on over to D-MAVT’s Instagram to find their latest post on helpfulETH!

  • New video about the prone position project

    Our project focused on relieving the prone position is bringing out results to USZ and has documented their findings in a publication and a new video.

    Hospitals treating COVID-19 patients around the world are using the prone-positioning of patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) as an effective therapy to increase blood oxygenation and reduce mortality. Turning anaesthetized patients safely requires at least 3-5 medical nurses and can be tedious to do with current methods. helpfulETH’s project proposes a simple mechanical solution to facilitate the proning procedure and reduce the amount of personnel needed.

    The Proning Taco consists of two parts that are wrapped around the patient before turning, the bottom of which remains under the patient during the “parking” period. A functional model was created for preliminary testing by the University Hospital of Zurich (USZ). The tests concluded that while the system has the potential to facilitate rotation, particularly for heavier patients, issues with axial stability during rotation need to be overcome to present a safe and viable product. The blueprints for the design along with detailed test results are entered into the public domain for independent future development.

    See the video below to learn more, or read the full publication here!

    https://youtu.be/SjFxbbEMM2Y
  • Our flyers are out

    The first solutions of helpfulETH are already in use in several hospitals throughout Switzerland. Below is the flyer which we distribute to a wide range of healthcare providers in order to inform them about the possibility to obtain our devices.

    Shortly, we will have a “Results” section on our homepage, where requests for our solutions can be made!

    Above, you can download our flyer and share it with healthcare providers who can benefit from our solutions! The flyer is available in 4 languages, however the main language of our homepage is English.

  • NZZ
    Click on the image to read the article.

    In today’s NZZ, Joël Mesot (President of ETH Zürich), Martin Vetterli (President of EPF Lausanne), and Michael Hengartner (President of the ETH Board) comment on cooperation in times of Corona and reflect on the coming together of the scientific community. helpfulETH finds itself in there too!

    The article is in German.

  • #mavtathome
    Today we find ourselves on D-MAVT’s Instagram – head over to eth_dmavt to follow!


    Although some of us are inevitably on the workshop floors and in the hospitals for manufacturing and testing, you find the post under #mavtathome – very fittingly according to the circumstances!

  • helpfulETH on national radio

    Today, SRF broadcasted a short segment on helpfulETH with Stephan Fox as guest.

    A brief radio broadcast by SRF Zürich-Schaffhausen about helpfulETH and its impact on Swiss hospitals. Click on the picture to listen to the transmission (in German).

  • Easter during Corona-times

    Happy Easter from the “engineering frontline” against COVID-19!

    While the Easter bunny is working hard, so are we! Corona unforntunately takes no Easter holidays.

    Our project teams continue to work diligently and have come a long way.

    While our mission is to create quickly implementable solutions for healthcare, helpfulETH also relies strongly on our healthcare partners for testing and evaluation – this is of essential importance to assure usability!

    Physicians are giving generously of their scarce time to support our project teams with expert know-how and testing for fast implementation. This has proven very successful – our first products are used in hospitals already and others are being tested as we write.

    Seeing that the reception in hospitals is one of great appreciation among burdened healthcare personnel only inspires us to work even harder!

    One of the few helpfulETH meetings in person (David Ochsner & Daniel Kirschenbaum strictly keeping a 2 m distance though!). Very well working prototype for “Communication in infectious environments”.
    Prototype for “Communication in infectious environments” – testing at Universitätsspital Zürich!
    Up until now 800+ face shields have been produced and are already being used in several hospitals all over Switzerland. There are many, many more to come. Spirits at the Makerspace of the Student Project House are high, even though social distancing and working in shifts can be challenging.
    Our team is working hard to keep up the production of face shields and patiently and diligently incorporates feedback from healthcare workers and physicians on the front lines.
    Finding a way to relieving the prone positioning process is of great help to unburden hospital staff – since rotating a patient is a personnel-intense procedure. In order to reduce bottlenecks, our team has developed an app for agile work planning and a system for easing the positioning process.
    The “taco and pillow” system by our team working on relieving the prone positioning process helps to improve the rotation process as well as the lying position of the patient.
    Our team working on hygiene rules in elderly homes is creating pictograms for elderly homes all over Switzerland, designed to remind staff members to be vary of behaving safely at all times – also during their leisure time. Hygiene behavior rules have to be repeated frequently, since people have a tendency to forget about them. – Something we can all relate to!

    The above are a few excerpts from some of our current projects – just like us, we hope that you are proud and happy to witness the diversity of projects that we are working on, thanks to the far-ranging skill set of our volunteers!

    With that, we return to the workbench and wish you all a happy and healthy Easter!

  • President’s Twitter
    Head over to ETH President Joël Mesot’s twitter to find a tweet about us and other interesting insights!

  • helpfulETH on EPFL’s social media

    After the go-live of helpfulETH in the ETH News yesterday, EPFL is also spreading the word in their social media channels. Head over to their facebook or twitter to read and share. Together we can make a difference on the engineering front line in the Corona-situation!

  • ETH News article

    Today our initiative “helpfulETH” is officially launched. We already have a whole bunch of projects up and running, some of which are rolling out solutions to hospitals very soon.

    To read the article, check out the ETH News page (German).
    Here for English.

  • Face shields

    More than 800 face shields have been produced by now! To think helpfulETH only started 3 weeks ago…!

  • First town hall meeting

    After a bit more than two weeks in existence, helpfulETH grew a lot and we already have multiple ongoing projects. To celebrate this and get to know each other a bit better, we had our first (virtual) town hall meeting this Thursday.

  • Twitter
    Head over to ETH Rector Sarah Springman’s twitter to find a tweet about us and other interesting insights!
  • First achievements

    We are so happy to see how quickly our initiative is growing and how many we have become! We feel that, in order to keep everybody in the loop, we would like to start giving brief daily updates with insights from the projects and from the organization team.


    We are thrilled to have the first projects started and more to come. The project teams consist of students, PhDs, lecturers, and industry partners. Meanwhile, we build up our production capacity – the first parts have already been printed!

    In the background, we build up a network of legal and regulatory people, external manufacturers, coaches, specialists, and medical experts. In addition, we take care that we find funding possibilities for every project.
    Happy to have you all aboard, stay tuned for the next projects to come and take care.


    Your helpfulETH team