Paramedics arrive at a small, dark apartment with a non English-speaking patient. A pill bottle defines an immediate hazard: active Tuberculosis. A subway train halts between stops and a light haze fills the car. Post earthquake a secretary descends twenty floors of dust. An officer approaches a suspect in a crowded mall who releases a gaseous substance from a shopping bag. A long plane ride becomes longer when the isle seat passenger suddenly shows flu-like symptoms...
PROBLEM: One common to those in public safety, healthcare, construction, the military, travelers, shoppers and gardeners. It's the need for quick, accessible, dependable mask protection for the respiratory tract. Inhalation remains one of the fastest means of drug administration, but poses hazards for debris, dust, toxins, smoke, and droplets. Masks are often forgotten/misplaced even in predictable locations like hospitals; and virtually non-existent in unpredictable locations such as subways, airplanes or crowded malls.
Few forget eye, sun or safety glasses as they are commonly desired, needed or required. Same cannot be said for masks, which are stuffed in pockets or bag bottoms and become disfigured, entangled or difficult to access.
SOLUTION: The FAST MASK; eyewear with an integrated, replaceable safety mask to quickly protect users from inhalation hazards. Advantage of an incorporated mask means never forgetting a critical safety item.
Works by simply deploying a small cartridge on the frame causing a mask to drop down and protect airways. Deployment is faster and a greater area of face is shielded/protected than using glasses and mask separately.
The mask would be produced using a mix of flexible polymers, cotton and nanofibers (impregnation with carbon or charcoal could provide further protections). The entire mask is packed into an integrated, replaceable polymer module that snaps on to become part of an eyeglass frame until needed. In the preferred embodiment the mask is replaced by snapping off a used one and snapping on a new. Repeat sales come in the form of replaceable mask cartridges.
MANUFACTURING: As simple as reworking existing eyeglass frames to accept cartridge design.
This idea is so novel a patent has been issued. Competitors do not exist, nothing similar is available.
TARGET MARKET: 18,000,000 Healthcare and 800,000 EMS workers. 1,000,000 Firefighters. 36,000,000 people seen in hospitals. 5,000,000 daily subway riders in New York alone. 69,000,000 international travelers. Secondary market is hundreds of millions doing everyday projects (e.g. gardening, painting) or those who find themselves in crowded/confined places. Foreign markets include countries like China, where 500,000 masks sell in a matter of days.
Aging populations present circumstances where more people have risky immune systems. New diseases, epidemics and pandemics will develop or be discovered (current CDC list is 384). Weather, earthquakes, and natural/man-made disasters will arise. Sadly, risks of attacks of every kind may change our everyday world.
Invented by the Firefighter/Paramedic referenced in the first sentence above (true story) that provided the “Eureka” moment. He knew there had to be a better way to quickly protect himself, his crew and his patients. And everyone else.