URI students create ‘smart mask’ that helps wearer screen for COVID-19 symptoms

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Courtesy: URI

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A group of students from the University of Rhode Island (URI) have designed a face mask that allows the person wearing it to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

The university said the “smart mask,” named RespDetect, uses a respiration sensor, a throat microphone and eat temperature sensor to wirelessly track the wearer’s symptoms through an app.

That data can then be used by a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for someone who may have contracted the virus.

Courtesy: URI

The university said the students, which include Michaela Bellisle, Gözde Çay, Jake Doherty, Vanessa Kamara, Johann Muller, Shehjar and Yashna Sadhu and Vignesh Ravichandran, came up with the idea while taking a warble bio-sensing laboratory in Spring 2020.

“We tried to bring people together who had an interest in hardware, software, mechanical and textiles to develop different features of the project,” Çay said.

RespDetect was entered into a worldwide design competition over the summer, where it placed third overall.

The students will be presenting the smart mask at IEEE International Virtual Symposium on Circuits & Systems in October.

With the help of their professors, the students are looking to get the sensing and signal processing they used on the project patented.

“We hope to come up with an inexpensive licensing model to fund this project sustainably, while also enabling improved access to high quality personal protective equipment for patients and frontline healthcare workers,” Ravichandran said.

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