Italian Startup Transforms a Snorkeling Mask into an Emergency Ventilator Mask

The Italian startup Isinnova from Brescia, Italy, has released the first emergency ventilator mask to be used in intensive care units, by adapting the snorkeling Easybreath mask from the sport retailer Decathlon

  • April 17, 2020
  • Italian Startup Transforms a Snorkeling Mask into an Emergency Ventilator Mask
    Italian Startup Transforms a Snorkeling Mask into an Emergency Ventilator Mask

Isinnova, an Italian startup located in Brescia, one of the cities most affected by Coronavirus in the north of Italy, has responded to the potential shortage of hospital C-PAP masks for sub-intentisive therapy by designing an emergency ventilator mask, realized by adjusting a snorkeling mask already available on the market and sold by the sport retailer Decathlon.

The idea was originally launched by a former head physician of the Gardone Valtrompia Hospital, Dr. Renato Favero, who got in touch with Isinnova to study the feasibility of this project. ''We analyzed the proposal together with the inventor. We contacted in little time Decathlon, as ideator, productor and supplier of the snorkeling Easybreath mask. The company was immediately willing to cooperate by providing the CAD drawing of the mask we had identified. The product was dismantled, studied, and the changes to be made were evaluated. A new component was then designed to guarantee the connection to the ventilator. We called the link Charlotte valve, and we quickly printed it using 3D printing,’’ Isinnova explained.

Free of use patented link technology for any healthcare facility

The link valve called Charlotte was patented but it remains free of use so any healthcare facility in need can purchase the snorkeling mask at Decathlon and use the files that Isinnova shares freely to realize the link valve with the help of 3D printers.

The prototype of the mask was successfully tested inside a hospital in Chiari, Italy, by connecting it to the ventilator body. ''We want to reiterate that the idea is designed for healthcare facilities and wants to help in realization of an emergency mask in the case of a full-blown difficult situation, where is not possible to in find official healthcare supplies. Neither the mask nor the link are certified and their use is subject to a situation of mandatory need,’’ highlights Isinnova. ''We clarify that our initiative is totally non-profit, we will not obtain any royalties on the idea of the link, nor on the sales of Decathlon masks.’’

The company declared that usage by the patient is subjected to the acceptance of use of an uncertified biomedical device, by providing a signed declaration. The drawings, logics and any other intellectual property rights relating to Charlotte valve device is released free of charge provided that it is not used for commercial purposes.

Graduated in political sciences and international relations in Paris, Anis joined the team in early 2019. Editor for IEN Europe and the new digital magazine AI IEN, he is a new tech enthusiast. Also passionate about sports, music, cultures and languages. 

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