In life and times of pandemic coronavirus, can ViriMASK from Israel be a potential cure for our isolation? And maybe a possible step towards a new ‘normal’ life?
The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to a complete lockdown in most of the countries. People are maintaining social distancing and avoiding public gatherings. Almost everyone is wearing face masks to avoid entry of deadly coronavirus particles inside their body. But most of these masks aren’t able to block the virus particles completely. However, the ViriMASK developed in Israel is expected to provide full protection to people against coronavirus and solve this problem.
Highlights! Will Israel’s ViriMASK turn out to be a game-changer during the coronavirus pandemic?
- Unlike normal masks, the ViriMASK provides full protection to the face and mouth.
- ViriMASK is going to be highly beneficial for people and healthcare workers in preventive quarantine.
- A ViriMASK will help people get out of isolation due to coronavirus.
What’s different with ViriMASK?
Although the nose is the main passage for coronavirus to enter the lungs, few researchers believe that the conjunctiva of the eye is another possible mode of entry. Also, the highly-rated N95 surgical masks are inefficient in fully blocking the coronavirus particles as the virus stays on the surface of the mask and pose a threat of potential contact.
This understanding led Israeli physician and serial medical-device inventor Dr Noam Gavriely to develop a special type of mask called the ViriMASK Protective Oculo-Respirator.
“Everyone is wearing a paper mask under the illusion that it protects them. It doesn’t. We need something to bridge the gap between gas masks and face masks.” – Dr. Noam Gavriely
Gavriely is the CEO of Tirat Carmel medical-device company called HemaClear, and his experience helped him envision the need for a protective device to help people during the coronavirus pandemic.
How effective is ViriMASK?
It looks like a fusion of ski goggles and a gas mask. Apparently, it covers more surface of your face so there are no pressure points—that makes it comfortable to wear.
The ViriMASK straps around the head covering the eyes through a see-through visor. The nose and mouth are covered with a filtering mechanism. It provides full protection to the face, unlike a normal mask.
The device is reusable as filters need to be replaced every 12 hours. This mask will cost around $50—including a pack of two filters and disposable envelopes. One can get an additional filter-envelope pack at $2 per unit.
The patent for this Israel borne ViriMASK is currently under process and the testing is going to take place at an independent laboratory around mid-April. The firm has announced establishing connections with ‘internationally recognized lab’ for verification.
Can ViriMASK offer an escape from isolation?
Gavriely and his team tested a 3D printed prototype of the ViriMASK using a ventilator and a dummy. The ViriMASK could turn out to be a real game-changer for people and frontline healthcare workers who are often in contact with unscreened populations, like airport staffs.
Gavriely believes that mask could help people find a way out of coronavirus induced isolation. Citing an example of their own COO, who is quarantined since his return from Germany. The doctor affirms he could ‘safely come’ to work, further assuring, that one can ‘drive and talk’ wearing the mask.
The ViriMASK will make use of an online fitting widget so that the mask can be made into multiple sizes suiting customer requirements. The initial production is expected to start at 1,000 units per day. With plans to quickly scale up to 1,00,000 units per day in the next four months.
While as and when it unfolds, ViriMASK from Israel can be a game-changer or not during coronavirus outbreak.