In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Tyndall National Institute has today launched Dmask.ie. This website makes freely available to the global community resources for high-volume manufacturing capacity of sealed diving masks for non-invasive ventilation of COVID-19 patients.
As part of a worldwide consortium of domain experts in medical devices, clinical healthcare, R&D, 3D printing, international supply-chain logistics, and high-volume production, Tyndall has collaborated over the past four weeks with international partners to deliver respiratory support solutions for emergency use in the global fight against COVID-19.
Commenting on the launch of this open-source repository, Tyndall CEO William Scanlon said,
“I am immensely proud of Tyndall’s ability to act as an innovation catalyst for COVID-19 treatment by bringing together expert volunteers from across our international networks of academic, business, clinical and design (ABCD) partners. Almost one-third of Tyndall’s research is in healthcare technology projects, and this kind of multi-disciplinary industry collaboration is in our DNA.”
Building on the experience of Italian clinicians and manufacturing company Isinnova, Tyndall researchers successfully collaborated with worldwide partners in adapting a commercial snorkelling mask in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially built on the commercially available Decathlon snorkelling mask, the “Dmask” initiative is adapted using a 3D printed valve to provide a substitute for non-critical patient respiratory masks. Dmask acts as a shield to protect frontline healthcare workers against COVID-19 contamination from patients breathing and coughing.
Bastien Grandgeorge, CEO of Decathlon Ireland, commented:
“Decathlon teams are happy to work and collaborate with research centres like Tyndall, hospitals, and authorities as well as providing them with technical support, with the aim of determining whether the mask can be modified, and if such modifications are viable.”
As well as leveraging Tyndall’s mechanical design, 3D printing capabilities, and biomedical device expertise, Tyndall colleagues collaborated across multiple groups to establish links to industrial 3D printing capabilities. Through Tyndall’s extensive network of clinicians, prototypes have received positive feedback from front-line healthcare providers in CUH, Beaumont Hospital and the Mater Dublin to allow the validation of the efficacy of the concept. In parallel, the team have linked with supply chain logistics experts and commercial manufacturing leaders who have confirmed access to volume manufacturers of Decathlon and similar masks and associated adaptors.
Tyndall Board Member and former President of Flex, Caroline Dowling, praised the work from the Tyndall team and partners over the past month. She added,
“This extraordinary response has been made possible by volunteers across institutions and industries devoting a huge amount of time and expertise. Dmask.ie is a demonstration of the globalisation of ideas and the power of collective networks demonstrating that new ways of working make us stronger together, connected in the worldwide fight against this pandemic.”