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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
1940 BROADWAY ST, UNIT 1E, San Francisco, CA, 94109-2216
DUNS: 080314851
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (415) 518-8574
Business Contact
Phone: (415) 518-8574
Research Institution
LITTLE ROCK, AR, 72204-1000
 Nonprofit college or university
PROJECT SUMMARY 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 characterization 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. *

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