N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) and surgical masks are essential in reducing airborne disease transmission, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, currently available FFR’s and masks have major limitations, including masking facial features, waste, and integrity after decontamination. Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been working to design a better, reusable respirator that could serve as an alternative to an N95 respirator. In the latest iteration of their work, they have introduced sensors to inform the user if the respirator is on properly and whether the filters are becoming saturated.
In a multi-institutional trial, an evaluation of a transparent, elastomeric, adaptable, long-lasting (TEAL) respirator to evaluate the success of qualitative fit test with user experience and biometric evaluation of temperature, respiratory rate, and fit of respirator using a novel sensor. There was a 100% successful fit test among participants with feedback demonstrating excellent or good fit (90% of participants), breathability (77.5%), and filter exchange 95%).
We are all stocking up on PPE and with the second wave of COVID-19 upon us, this might be something you could benefit from learning more about! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!