Colour changing smart labels indicate face mask efficacy

Scotland-based sensing technology company, Insignia has developed a solution that alerts users to the need to replace their face mask.

Whilst the recommended maximum time to wear a mask is dependent upon a number of factors, The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine recommends that one be worn only for up to 6 hours.

In medical settings, face masks and coverings are now mandatory for all NHS hospital staff, many of whom conduct working shifts of up to 12 hours at a time. Insignia stresses the need to change masks regularly to ensure their continued effectiveness.

With no current regulations in place to ensure that mask wearers are consistently changing their face coverings, Insignia’s label solution will create an additional level of reassurance to both hospital staff and patients, ensuring that the safety of all remains a top priority.

Founded in 2012, Insignia’s smart labels are used across the food and drink sector. With an estimated 18 million tonnes of edible food sent to landfill in the UK each year, Insignia set out to reduce food waste by developing a label that uses smart pigment technology to change colour over time to show for how long a packet of food had been opened. And when COVID-19 arrived in the UK, the company turned its attention to suitable applications.

David Kilshaw, CEO of Insignia Technologies, said: “We want to educate mask users of the importance of following recommended guidelines when it comes to face masks. Hospital staff and others in medical settings are required to wear masks at all times while at work, so it’s important that they remember to change their masks regularly in accordance with the suggested time frame -- the same guidelines are relevant for those visiting hospitals for extended periods to receive treatment. By including our innovative label technology on masks, we can ensure that PPE is being used responsibly and isn’t being worn for too long, or thrown away too quickly.”

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