Anti-viral wearables developed by Akhand Armour in Milton Keynes can help turn people into ‘Human Sanitising Shields’ to deactivate the virus as they walk through the community by stealth.
Akhand Armour’s Meena Hanspal explains: “As soon as infected droplets land on the wearables which are impregnated with a virus destroying tech, the outer wall of the Coronavirus is destroyed rendering it useless.
“Our methodologies neutralise the landed virus and bacteria. Killing it off means it cannot infect and cannot mutate. Not only do we mitigate contact-based transmission, we mitigate the likelihood of variants developing. By moving over to these wearables we can help reduce background virus transference by removing landed infected droplets from circulation.
“This means we’ve got ‘human virus neutralisers’ moving through the community. In the same way as people can become ‘virus transmitters’, we can turn them into ‘human virus neutralisers.’ There will be strength in numbers – the more people using the tech, the greater the shielding effect.”
These wearables are the brainchild of Meena Hanspal, a strategist specialising in hacking growth for businesses. They now call her a ‘Transmission Hackers.’
The tools interrupt the transmission journey of the virus providing an immediate intervention. The result is a virus destroying “self-sanitising eco-system” which continuously neutralises infected droplets as they land.
“No shortcuts” they say, Akhand has developed a dual pathway system for enhanced virus destruction which have been tested and certified at MSL, a microbiological testing laboratory based in the UK. They are the first to achieve an ISO certification for non-medical face masks and wearables scientifically confirming the landed virus is destroyed on contact with the fabric.
Proven effective against coronaviruses, the flu and bacteria as well as a multitude of other microbes the “self-sanitising eco-system” includes face masks, sanitising face mask pocket cases, glasses cases, shopping bags and mobile phone cases. They have also developed scarf-mask hybrids (called a Scarsk) for people who cannot get on with masks and a baby changing blanket for use in public baby changing rooms or when travelling.
The solutions can add an extra layer of protection as societies start opening up to socialise and travel more freely and are termed by Akhand as “Adaptive Non-Medical PPE.”
“Virus neutralising technology has been around for decades,” say Akhand. “This is well tested, robust tech which we have repurposed to support communities to reduce contact based transmission.”
“I realised at the height of the pandemic that expertise here in the UK was being underutilised – it’s as though the information needed by the public in order to better protect themselves, was being withheld from them. We’ve now democratised PPE by opening it up for the general public and we manufacture here in the UK.”
The issue with ordinary face coverings is they can become an infectious surface and need to be worn with care. This is especially true when the virus is airborne.
Dr David Greensmith, one of Akhand’s scientific advisors and a specialist in Infectious Diseases at the University of Salford points out that face coverings can become contagious surfaces by collecting microbes through use.
He said: “A covering which is designed to prevent transmission may, after time, facilitate it.
“A face covering augmented in the way Akhand Armour have developed, can ultimately reduce the likelihood of microbe spread between individuals…and effectively contribute to a respective reduction in R value.”
Akhand explains “With mixed messaging around masks throughout the pandemic, the public were being ‘penalised’ for seemingly not knowing how to wear masks properly – but this is an unfair interpretation of what’s really happening out there.
“Expecting people to wear masks in the same way as one would in medical settings is an almost impossible ask. In the real world, people find themselves having to re-use the same mask multiple times a day. It’s usually stuffed in a pocket and re-worn whilst rushing about living busy lives.”
Hanspal says: “We take the stress out of masking. By moving over to wearables which destroy the virus on contact, we are helping to make the process of covering up less perilous.
“We disguise it as everyday wear, make it easy to use whilst at the same time make sure it works by self-sanitising on the fly. We make it easy for the user and easy for the people around them.”
The T4 uses two different virus destruction technologies to self-protect whilst the sanitising pocket case also continues to destroy virus on both the mask and in your pocket between uses, remaining active for the life of the textile. Having been tested to 50 washes the T4 is then better for widespread use than an ordinary face covering and, say Akhand “much more sustainable to our planet than a disposable face mask.”
Hanspal said: “Even when restrictions are removed, many people will be hesitant about potential risk since COVID numbers are rising. Using an anti-viral wearable when you go out will dramatically reduce those risks, helping to neutralise the virus within the community. Our anti-viral eco-system, masks and coverings can help turn people into ‘human sanitising shields’.”
All of the products have been engineered to be diversity friendly with ‘2nd Skin Form Fit’ accommodating multiple face shapes, hats, turbans, beards, headwear and hearing aids.