ROBRADY, SafER Bring Negative Pressure Shields to Market

Todays News

Image courtesy ROBRADY

In a case of necessity birthing medical invention, a Sarasota design firm helped bring technology to market that could revolutionize how airborne pathogens get contained in ambulances and hospitals. ROBRADY in partnership with SafER Medical Products has the first 1,000 units ready to kit and sell for a product line of portable negative pressure devices.

“It almost takes my breathe away to think about it,” said Rob Brady, founder of ROBRADY. And taking breathe away is literally the goal.

The line includes shields and medical face mask accessories tooled for optimal use by paramedics, doctors or nurses for a variety of environments. The devices can be attached to respiratory machines and will vacuum away exhaled germs from patients. That solves a problem facing medical professionals dealing with COVID-19 patients. A respirator typically helps patients inhale oxygen and often medicines, but then allows the patient to exhale into the open environment. That leaves other patients and frontline medical workers exposed to the coronavirus causing the disease.

The SafER Medical Products team conceived of the solution to this medical challenge exacerbated as the virus spread worldwide. The group of emergency room physicians approached ROBRADY in need of engineering and design expertise. Learning about the Sarasota firm’s long history of bringing products to market with full Food and Drug Administration approval, the partnership was formed in August 2020. Just over a year later, devices are ready to sell to hospitals, first responders and assisted living facilities.

Brady said while this project came together with urgency, it wasn’t always easy. The greatest engineering challenge came in making a safe and working vacuum system, one that could fit over a standard medical mask, and successfully suck out the pathogens normally exhaled into the air. As it happens, engineers at ROBRADY managed to solve within a 90-day timeframe. Since then, the product has been tested and engineers designed additional clips and valves while developing shields optimized for various situations like emergency rooms and ambulances.

Brady said there’s a need for negative pressure systems even when the pandemic finally quells. “Doctors were inspired to develop this product because of COVID, but there’s a vast number of uses,” he said. Anytime a patient comes to the hospital with an undiagnosed ailment, physicians want them isolated in case the condition is contagious. And even the spread of the common cold could be contained if negative pressure devices could be employed immediately after a patient receives treatment. “COVID has awoken people to the issue that airborne contaminants are a real thing,” he said.

 

Image courtesy ROBRADY

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