The evolution of transparent masks
We've written previously about the significance and impact that traditional face masks have to both the Deaf community, and the difficulties as a barrier between patient and health care professionals and providers. The more this barrier can be safely reduced, the better relationships can become.
This need have intensified during Covid-19 because masks are now used in every day settings outside of healthcare - reducing the ability of those in the Deaf community to lip read and see facial expressions. There have been a number of short-term solutions, such as clear plastic panels built into face masks, which we previously posted in 'Necessity is the Mother of Invention". These solutions have bridged a gap but are difficult to wear and breath in for long periods of time.
Now, a Swiss startup called HMCARE has developed the HelloMask, a transparent surgical mask. The transparent face mask will let the wearer’s face and expressions to be visible completely without hampering protection and breathability. The company believes it will help healthcare professionals communicate with those who have hearing impairments and build empathy.
Details on the mask design- "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."
We look forward to all the new technologies that will keep us safe while bringing us closer together!
Main image picture credits: HMCARE