Medovate developing new PPE face mask to help front line clinicians with coronavirus

30th April, 2020

Medovate, the dynamic Cambridge based medical device company, is developing an innovative face mask incorporating a specialised filter which has been proven to be an effective barrier against viruses.

The new face mask, designed by Medovate staff member Alan Finnerty along with consultant, Jon Westcott, is based upon a full-face snorkel mask and has a critical care ventilator grade Heat and Moisture Exchanger with Filter (HMEF) incorporated into the airway inlet.

The reusable and robust face mask expands upon a design principle which has already been employed in masks used in intensive care units in other European countries, including Italy and Spain.

To make the face mask a reality, Medovate approached Intersurgical, the leading UK medical device company for respiratory support, who generously donated the required HMEFs, proven to protect against viral cross contamination. In addition, JEB Technologies, precision engineers based in Mildenhall, are rapidly manufacturing the connectors to attach the HMEFs to the snorkel masks.

Medovate, which is ISO 13485 certified, will be making 50 of these masks which will then be donated to local NHS Trusts and Community Organisations.

The whole face mask design, including the mask-HMEF connector, will be made open-source by Medovate so that other companies, organisations and healthcare providers can, if they wish to, similarly convert full face snorkel masks into PPE for healthcare workers.

Jon Westcott, Consultant Project Manager at Medovate, who initiated the idea said, "I really wanted to help make a difference at this challenging time. With my background in medical product design and Medovate’s expertise in the area of quality and medical project management, we started looking at a PPE project using equipment we had at our disposal.

The idea of building a solution with two existing CE marked devices was logical in terms of design confidence and delivering a fast turnaround solution. We are developing a reusable, and therefore cost-effective, PPE shield which helps protect the wearer. It is configurable and can be produced with several manufacturing methods."

Alan Finnerty, Medovate Technology Development Manager, added “Medovate is ideally placed as an innovative medical device company in the region to support and develop the face mask. We have applied our standard rigorous approach to quality and design, combined with our expertise in medical device development and airway management. Our thanks go to Intersurgical who delivered their HMEFs within days and to JEB Technologies for their current assistance.”

Stuart Thomson, Managing Director at Medovate, concluded “All Medovate products are focussed on improving safety and we are proud to be developing and donating these PPE face masks to help protect our front line clinicians so that they can continue providing much needed treatment and care to patients suffering from Covid-19”.

Anyone who is interested in details about the face masks design pack should contact Medovate by email at enquiries@medovate.co.uk for more information.