Welsh Government Invests £250,000 in ‘pop-up’ isolation tent
AerosolShield has secured £250,000 investment from the Welsh Government to help it develop and scale production of the AerosolShield 'pop-up' isolation tent.
AerosolShield has secured £250,000 investment from the Welsh Government to help it develop and scale production of the AerosolShield pop-up isolation tent.
Conceived at the end of March, and accelerated from concept through to commercial availability in just six days, the AerosolShield is a transparent, pop-up tent deployable ‘in a matter of seconds’ to cover the head and shoulders of a patient, forming a physical barrier between the patient and carer during aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) such as intubation, nebulisation, or CPR. AerosolShield explained: “By physically blocking infected droplets from the patient’s lungs before they can come into contact with PPE, the AerosolShield empowers healthcare staff to perform life-saving procedures without fear of personal or environmental contamination. AerosolShields have already been deployed to hospitals around the UK, protecting an estimated 5,000+ NHS staff from potential exposure to COVID-19 in recent months.”
This latest £250,000 investment adds to £100,000 funding already secured in July from the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network’s (WMAHSN) SME Health Innovation Fund and MidTECH Innovations, and a public GoFundMe campaign which has raised £35,000 to date. The grant awarded to AerosolShield is part of the Welsh Government rapid response Covid-19 RD&I scheme. It said: “This scheme supports innovative businesses and research organisations to deliver solutions that meet the challenges facing the NHS and care services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.” The AerosolShield team says it is ‘working closely with a number of Welsh companies, including for design and production, to develop a homegrown solution with international appeal’.
Mat Campbell-Hill, lead designer and co-founder of AerosolShield, said: “We’re so grateful to the Welsh Government for its support in developing the AerosolShield further, and ensuring that our production can cope with the growing demand through this pandemic and beyond. From talking to colleagues in the NHS, it’s clear that the constant fear of infection or of bringing the virus home to their loved-ones has been just as big a threat to their mental and physical health as the illness itself. We want to offer these incredible professionals greater support to do the jobs that they are so committed to performing under the most challenging conditions.”
Kirsty Williams, the Education Minister for Wales, said: “I’m pleased to support this project as part of our support for innovation to tackle or treat the coronavirus, within the Welsh Government’s wider actions to help fight COVID-19. This funding is part of £6 m we’re providing towards research, development, and innovation projects and Small Business Research Initiatives related to the coronavirus, to benefit both the public and private sectors.”
Produced by Welsh manufacturer, Airquee, an established supplier of isolation and decontamination tents used by humanitarian organisations, health workers, and the armed forces worldwide, the AerosolShield can reportedly be used ‘for many hours, even days, on the same patient, throughout the entire patient journey’. AerosolShield says this ‘significantly improves staff safety, and reduces overall costs for single-use products and extra environmental cleaning requirements’. It added: “Most importantly, staff who have used the AerosolShield say they feel safer and less anxious about going to work.”