The medical world has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 and their efforts are ever commendable. It’s getting to a time when technology needs to play a part in this, and it has already been evident in some areas of the world.
Medical innovator, Livinguard, has developed a line of self-sanitizing masks. It’s a very timely and important innovation as it deactivates SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, influenza and many other common viruses.
Speaking to CIO Africa in an interview, the CEO and founder of Livinguard AG, Sanjeev Swamy said that the mask had actually been developed pre-covid and was initially meant to be used for tuberculosis patients.
“From a lung infection point of view, tuberculosis and coronavirus are very similar. When COVID-19 hit us in 2020, we immediately brought out our masks because we knew it was perfect mask against corona virus.
The invention comes to transform facemasks into protective wear for the wearer. According to Sanjeev, the technology has been embraced by some regions in the world and there have already been significant results.
“One country in the world bought our masks and gave it to every person in the country, that is Singapore. Every Singaporian resident received Livinguard mask,” Sanjeev said, “The report after 7 months was that only less than 500 people out of 6 million had contracted covid.”
The lifespan of a livinguard mask is 6-7 months because it’s washable and reusable. The technology that makes it active for that long is in the fabric that’s used in making the mask. The fabric is the only non-liquid disinfectant in the world.
With a standard cloth or disposable mask, infectious microbes can adhere to the mask. If the wearer touches the contaminated mask, that person risks infecting themselves and other surfaces.
Because Livinguard Technology permanently deactivates the virus and bacteria on the surface of treated masks, it dramatically reduces the chances of cross contamination.
“We’ve tested it against multiple variants of COVID-19; the original Sars-Cov-2, the global corona virus (the human corona virus), the delta variant, and the omicron variant. I can say that this fabric is 99.9% effective in protecting the wearer,” Sanjeev said in the interview.
The radical new mask has been given accelerated approval as a medical mask by the European Union, with universities in Berlin, Germany and Tucson, Arizona, USA additionally confirming that its self-sanitising fabric kills 99.9 per cent of Covid-19 pathogens.
As a medical breakthrough, it has been globally feted in 2021, named in September as the Sustainability Product of the year by the Business Information Group, and prompting the World Economic Forum to name its producer, Swiss Medtech company Livinguard, a Global Innovator
In the years that Livinguard has been operational, Sanjeev is proud of several inventions that have helped over the years. His most proud work is re-usable sanitary pads that were produced with a target to help the less privileged people in the society.
“We targeted to help these girls who mostly fail to go to school because they don’t have sanitary pads or don’t have the money to buy one,” Sanjeev said.
Kenyan based anesthesiologist who was one of the early adopters of Livinguard masks, Dr Idris Chikophe said that it would be good for Africa to embrace this as it is scientifically proven. Dr Chikophe further said that the masks are not expensive compared to what is being used in the continent and hopes that levies won’t make them expensive when they come to the country.
“The current cost of life is high. The general public is struggling with basic human needs. While the efficacy of the mask is without question, the cost may limit its penetration. I would like it to be considered as an essential medical product so that governments may reduce the prohibitive levies. Maybe we could benefit from bulk procurements too,” Dr Chikophe said.