Collection of Information about Face Masks and Health Care Communication

From: HLAA Central MA <hlaacentralma@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 10:48 AM
Subject: Collection of Information about Face Masks and Health Care Communication
To: HLAA Central MA <hlaacentralma@gmail.com>

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with hearing loss are frustrated by masks and face coverings.  Being able to lipread is critical to our communication, especially when navigating the healthcare system.  HLAA CM has collected some information related to this topic to share.

Guide for Effective Communication in Health Care

HLAA has a website dedicated to this topic with resources on how to communicate with medical professionals, recommendations for medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and guides for patients and providers.  The webpage is:

https://www.hearingloss.org/hearing-help/communities/patients/

You can download the complete the guide:

https://www.hearingloss.org/wp-content/uploads/HLAA_HC_Full_Guide.pdf

Hearing Review Article: Urge CDC to Emphasize Need for Clear Face Masks

The Hearing Review article from June 9, 2020 is titled “ASHA Urges CDC to Emphasize Need for Clear Face Masks for the Hearing Impaired.”  You can read the article at:

https://www.hearingreview.com/inside-hearing/organizations/face-masks?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=HR+Today+Jun+2020&campaign_type=newsletter

The full ASHA letter can be found at:

https://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/ASHA-Letter-to-CDC-About-Face-Masks-060820.pdf

Hearing Life Article on See-Through Face Masks

The March/April 2020 edition of HLAA’s Hearing Life magazine includes an article about communication access showing a doctor wearing a see-through surgical mask.  The article is titled, “Necessity and Invention: New Mom Turns Entrepreneur.”  The subject of the article, Anne McIntosh, founded the Safe’N’Clear company in 2012 and created the “Communicator Surgical Mask.” The see-through medical masks were approved by the FDA and started being used in hospitals in 2017.

The Communicator (See-Through Surgical Mask)

You can read more about The Communicator mask at the company website:

https://safenclear.com/

The mask came up for discussion at one of the HLAA virtual meetings and someone complained that they were expensive.  The cost was reported as $60 and later clarified to be for a box of 40.  As you can imagine, the masks have become very popular now and are out of stock.  The company is expecting to have more available in July.

HelloMasks (Transparent Face Mask)

Popular Mechanics ran an article on June 10, 2020 titled “These Transparent Face Masks Might Make You Feel Normal Again.”  It describes a mask developed in Switzerland that is completely transparent.  The company HMCARE plans to start selling the new masks in 2021 directly to medical professionals.

You can read the full article at:

https://hearinglosscentralma.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/transparent-face-mask-_-future-of-surgical-face-masks-1-4-1.pdf

The company is a start-up right now.  It is planning to pursue European certification and eventually will pursue FDA approval.  The company website is:

https://hmcare.ch/

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