Addenbrooke’s Hospital develop unique clear coronavirus facemask
- Credit: Cambridge University Hospitals
The clinical engineering innovation team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital are busy working on a unique clear design coronavirus facemask.
Officially registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as a CE marked medical mask, the device can now be used to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The registered mask can now be utilised by other hospitals, care homes, and primary care in the UK and Europe.
Named the ‘Panoramic Mio-Mask™’, it includes the same level of bacterial filtration and splash protection as the blue surgical masks most commonly worn in medical settings.
Once in production, the mask, which is clear at the top with three-ply polypropylene filter material below the chin, will improve communication between patients and staff who are hard of hearing.
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Professor Paul White said: “This is another example of how my team is able to develop an unmet clinical need by working with clinicians and nursing staff at CUH, and linking with industry.
“There has been a need for a clear mask, which meets our functional, bacterial and viral requirements, across the whole health and care system since the start of the pandemic last March.
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“The mask has now gone through clinical evaluation, and independent viral and bacterial testing.
“It could be used across the NHS and Europe and there is no reason why it could not be used worldwide, with appropriate regulatory approval.
“I am very proud of not only my team but everybody working on the project, and our industrial collaborators who have brought this project to reality.
“It is with their input, determination and dedication during this difficult period, which will benefit the communication needs of our patients and staff and those of others.”
Work on the mask started last April in the Cambridge hospital’s clinical engineering department led by Professor White.
The project was in response to a need highlighted by Junior Sister Emma Ayling, who manages a busy Rosie hospital outpatient department, wears hearing aids, and is an accomplished lip-reader.
The work was made possible thanks to manufacturing partner, St Neots-based LJA Miers, which provided valuable input to make the mask suitable for mass manufacture.
Design and innovation engineer, Abi Bush, who led on the project with clinical scientist Dr Tom Griffiths, and medical physicist, Dr Hannah Price, said: “Achieving CE marking is a really important step for us and makes all the work worthwhile. It has been a massive team effort.”
Emma, who specialises in gynaecology and early pregnancy care, said: “Within Gynaecology, we undertake outpatient diagnostic services as well as consultations.
“I am able to lip-read patients and staff wearing the clear mask, optimising my level of care, compassion and communication.”
Tony Barber, LJA Miers commercial director, said: “The company, which has a background in the automotive industry, completely repurposed its facilities at the start of Covid-19 to assist with the supply of visors.
“We are delighted to be doing our part in the fight against Covid-19 by providing clinicians and their patients the protection they need at such a challenging time for everyone.”