Return to University Health's Homepage.

Innovation and Research

Innovation and Research

Due to the nature and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers across the globe had to improvise solutions to protect the health and well-being of their communities. 

At University Health, our staff and trusted partners worked proactively to combat the challenges we saw reflected in other communities. Humans have the incredible ability to adapt, and we’ve seen great innovation and research in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

See all of the ways we innovated and changed as we learned more about COVID-19 in our interactive timeline. We developed lifesaving processes, treatments, techniques and technology, including:

  • Remdesivir Clinical Trial: Physicians at University Health were among the first in the country to test remdesivir, a drug that proved effective in treating COVID-19. Our remdesivir clinical trial was the largest in the world.
  • Monoclonal Antibody Treatment: University Hospital’s pharmacy became San Antonio’s central location for preparing two monoclonal antibody therapies. The drugs, given intravenously, proved to be effective in preventing hospitalization for patients with COVID-19 and with mild-to-moderate symptoms.
  • Power Plasma Study: We worked closely with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center on a treatment study using the donated plasma of people who recovered from COVID-19. 
  • Extending the Life of N95 Masks: University Health developed an FDA-approved hydrogen peroxide gas process to sterilize N95 masks so they could be reused in spite of supply shortages. 
  • Inventing a New Mask: Tommye Austin, former chief nurse executive at University Health, led an initiative to develop a new mask made of locally sourced materials. The Southwest Research Institute found this mask to be as effective in protecting against the fine particles and droplets that spread COVID-19 as standard-issue N95 masks.