One of the big challenges facing authorities in the COVID-19 era is the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) – face masks, respirators, etc.
A team of entrepreneurs out of Toronto, Canada, has launched a proprietary, low-cost consumer-powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) called the BioVYZR 1.0.
It’s an air-purifying impermeable outer layer designed to drastically reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. With 360 degrees of protection, it filters all the air that comes in and all the air that goes out.
PAPRs work first, by creating an impermeable seal around the wearer’s face or head. Second, a blower fan channels an ample supply of filtered air into the enclosed space, creating positive pressure.
By creating a seal around the wearer and purifying their air, PAPRs effectively block pathogen transmission through droplets and aerosols.
The respirator is designed to offer self-isolation, without the social distancing.
According to the developers, when used in a healthcare setting, the medical BioVYZRs have distinct benefits that go beyond protection.
These include, but are not limited to:
- not requiring a full face seal to be effective (like masks);
- preventing inadvertent face touching and cross-contamination;
- not obstructing the face and mouth for better communication;
- facilitating patient interactions and close-proximity care;
- they can be worn all day long, inside and out of the hospital;
- they come with disposable sterile covers that can be safely donned/doffed; and
- their filters can last much longer than N95 masks and require less handling (for replacement).
The cost? $249 per unit, compared to a regular PAPR, which generally runs around $1,800.