An improved Ebola-fighting suit designed by a team of doctors, engineers, and at least one wedding-dress designer at Johns Hopkins in October just won funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The problems with the current Ebola suits worn by front-line caregivers in the fight against the disease are many. Mostly they are too hot and far too complicated to remove.
The Hopkins suit confronts those issues and more. A rechargeable battery pack blows dry air into the hood to evaporate sweat off the wearer’s skin. A relocated zipper and a few pull tabs simplify the doffing process; it used to take 20 steps and a friend. Now it only takes “five or six” and can be done by oneself. The hood’s transparent visor is enlarged to let the worker see more and to project a “less intimidating appearance.”
The award will fund the project all the way to the completion of a “product design that is ready to be taken up by a major manufacturer, or several, for large-scale production and distribution.”
Here is a 93-second video that demonstrates the new suit’s innovations:
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