SmartPPE is a reusable single-piece full-body protective suit. The product is made from a water-proof material and includes an integrated ventilation system powered by a rechargeable battery. This product is still a prototype as of 2020.
This product was selected for inclusion in WHO’s 2021 Compendium of Innovative Health Technologies for Low‐Resource Settings.
Standard and existing manufacturing processes will be used to minimize fabrication costs, especially for high volumes.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
There is not yet a definite model as the business model is still under development. Following commercialization, the suit should be available for sale through the manufacturing company. Interview with representative
Distributions to Date Status
The first prototype was announced in April, 2016. As of early 2019, the product is still a prototype and not widely distributed.
One size fits all
Indispensable equipment for function (Y / N)
Maintenance or calibration required by user at time of use? (Y/N)
The product is disinfected after each use
Material(s) used in product
The textile used for the current prototype is a polyamide fabric with a PU coating, though this will change for the final product as a new textile is under development. Similarly, the material of the current face shield is polycarbonate, but this might change in the future. Interview with representative
Power supply type: Continuous, Recharging only (V, time required, battery life), Other
The SmartPPE consists of a single coverall, including the hood and a face visor. The product is intended be reusable to reduce waste.
Support, including training, use, preventative maintenance instruction, recycling, and other logistics will be provided by the manufacturer.
In the event of a major issue, the suit will be replaced.
The lifecycle (number of uses, length of time) is unknown, however, the product is multi-use because it can be disinfected by being dipped in chlorine. When the equipment is damaged in any way, it can be either disinfected one last time and disposed of as any other waste, or treated as infectious waste.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
The SmartPPE seeks to simplify dressing and undressing procedures to speed up these steps and to reduce the risk of self-contamination, be effectively disinfected when dipped in chlorine, be better ventilated and cooler in hot climates, and safely protect the user.
Vetted Performance Status
This product is in the prototype stage as of early 2019. No known vetted performance exists.
The manufacturer specifies that users must complete a training to assist in compliance with all safety instructions. In addition, the product is being designed such that dressing, undressing, and disinfection is simplified. As the PPE is reusable, it must be thoroughly disinfected. All materials have to be resistant to Chlorine, and there should not remain any area unreached by a liquid solution when the PPE is dipped into it. When the equipment does not need to be reused, it can be either disinfected one last time and disposed of as any other waste, or treated as infectious waste.
Complementary Technical Systems
The PPE includes a ventilation system to provide the user with fresh air, prevent fogging, and keep the temperature inside the suit bearable. The current prototype uses a commercially available ventilation system, but a new ventilation system is under development to fulfill all the constraints of the targeted context and applications. This ventilation system includes batteries and filters. Interview with representative
Academic Research and References
Chen, D. and Lawo, M., 2017, Smart Textiles and Smart Personnel Protective Equipment, Smart Textiles, pp. 333-357.
Cao, H., 2012, Smart Technology for Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing, Smart Textiles for Protection. R.A. Chapman, ed., Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, UK, pp. 229-241.
Compliance with regulations
The current prototype has not been certified, but the final product will be. The final product will most likely follow European standards for protective equipment and ventilation systems. Interview with representative