You are here

A Transparent Surgical Mask to Improve Patient Caregiver Communication Minimize Errors and Increase Patient Satisfaction

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41NR017124-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41NR017124
Amount: $222,317.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 600
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-07-03
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-06-30
Small Business Information
San Francisco, CA 94109-2216
United States
DUNS: 080314851
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (415) 518-8574
Business Contact
Phone: (415) 518-8574
Research Institution
LITTLE ROCK, AR 72204-1000
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

Hearing loss innate and acquired occurs in over million Americans and globally in over million
people To compensate many with hearing impairment rely on the combination of audio information and visual
cues from the face cheeks nose and eyes to facilitate speech understanding In healthcare settings this
important visual communication is severely hindered by the ubiquitously used surgical facemask which covers
the nose mouth cheeks and chin This leads to a breakdown in communication that can increase the risk for
miscommunication and medical errors
A transparent surgical mask has the potential to improve speech understanding in patients with hearing loss
and improve patient caregiver communication for all individuals Unfortunately previous attempts have failed
due to limitations in materials and design The patented design of the FaceView MaskTM provides this
transparency by utilizing a clear anti fog central panel The mask also contains a silane based antimicrobial on
the outer fabric allowing it to offer similar benefits as currently used surgical masks in addition to providing visual
access to the face A preliminary study has demonstrated that an early stage prototype of the FaceView MaskTM
increased speech understanding in participants with differing degrees of hearing loss in the presence and
absence of multi talker babble
The overall goal of this STTR Phase I project is to evaluate the potential of the FaceView MaskTM to improve
speech understanding in subjects with hearing loss This will be accomplished through three specific aims In
Aim FaceView MaskTM prototypes will undergo biocompatibility testing in accordance with ISO Part
guidelines including cytotoxicity sensitization and irritation testing In Aim Dr Atcherson Associate Professor
in the Department of Audiology University of Arkansas at Little Rock will conduct human subjects research to
assess the impact that the FaceView MaskTM has on speech understanding in normal hearing subjects and
subjects with hearing impairment In Aim nurses and dental staff will assess comfort during daily use and
healthcare personnel preference for the FaceView MaskTM in comparison to conventional paper masks The
conclusion of this Phase I work will allow for large multi site clinical trials in Phase II and further FDA mandated
The FaceView MaskTM an innovative transparent facemask has the potential to enhance patient caregiver
communication and decrease dangerous medical errors improving safety and the healthcare experience for
millions of patients worldwide especially for those who suffer hearing impairment PROJECT NARRATIVE
Facial cues can improve effective communication and are critical for people with hearing impairment However
the pervasive use of facemasks in healthcare obscures visual cues increasing the risk for medical
miscommunication The FaceView MaskTM a transparent surgical mask will improve patient caregiver
communication especially for patients with hearing loss and decrease the prevalence of medical errors in
healthcare settings by providing visual access to the face

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government