Swiss startup HMCARE has developed one of the products, which is the need of the hour during the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, the startup has come up with the HelloMask, a transparent surgical mask with the intention to let healthcare works communicate with patients in a more natural way. The startup based in Geneva has secured $1.05 million (nearly €0.92 million) to produce the transparent surgical mask.
HMCARE was founded by Diane Baatard, Thierry Pelet, Klaus Schönenberger and Sacha Pierre Sidjanski. Notably, Baatard realised the need for transparent face masks while working as a storyteller for hospitalised children and Schönenberger saw a similar necessity while treating patients during the Ebola outbreak in 2015.
This isn’t the first transparent mask out there but the regular transparent ones have a plastic window that can fog up and is not breathable. This is where the company’s CEO approached EPFL with a prototype for a transparent mask that is protective from virus and bacteria.
Transparent face mask: A critical requirement!
HelloMask, the transparent surgical face mask will let the wearer’s face and expressions to be visible completely without hampering protection and breathability. It is believed that the mask will build empathy as well as wellbeing by establishing an emotional connection. Also, it will be easier for healthcare professionals to communicate with those who have hearing impairments as lip reading still be possible.
HMCARE spun out of the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne channel the fresh funding towards the production of the masks so that it enters the market by early 2021. And, it will partner with Geneva University Hospitals for the clinical testing of its prototypes.
Features materials from Empa
The HelloMask will replace the typical masks that healthcare workers use. Besides them, anyone can use these masks without any breathability issue as these are made using biomass-based transparent fibres that are placed 100 nanometres apart to form sheets from Empa, a Swiss materials centre. Despite the triple-layered design, the HelloMask is flexible, breathable and biodegradable as well.
What’s more interesting is that transparent material used for the HelloMask can be made in bulk. Also, it can be formed into mask shapes similar to normal cloth. As the whole world is looking out for masks and a transparent and recyclable mask sounds appealing, this solution from HMCARE can be a perfect attraction for healthcare workers.
Main image picture credits: HMCARE
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