It is hard to imagine that just one year ago we were shopping and eating in restaurants without fear and without face coverings. Since then, the use of facemasks and face shields has become commonplace even to the point that we feel naked without them when out in public.

At the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic, there was tremendous panic because of the shortages of Personal Protective Equipment of all types. Since then, most countries have ramped up production of all types of equipment for both medical professionals and the public at large.

During the past year, the scientific community learned that Covid 19 spreads through droplet transmission in the air rather than on surfaces. This is caused a dramatic shift away from hand and surface sanitization to protecting individuals from inhalation of the virus. Recently several companies have developed new and higher performing products that not only claim to work better than basic facemask technology, they also offer superior comfort. One is a hood/helmet type product, the other a complex face mask.

Vyzr Technologies in Toronto Canada ( has developed the Biovyzer. Their product is a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PARP) which is essentially a hood that slips over the head and contains the entire airspace around the head. It is a battery-operated device that cleans incoming air through a filtration system, and again filters outgoing air. It has an innovative “glove” that allows the wearer to scratch the face, adjust their glasses etc. At a cost of $379 plus shipping, it may be out of reach for many consumers but it offers a high-tech solution that could fill a major niche in healthcare, commercial and industrial settings. It could also be a game changer for immunocompromised individuals.

Another interesting innovation comes out of Florida’s Octo Safety Devices ( Their product is more of a face mask, but with several interesting, innovative features. It is a multicomponent mask with a reusable, cleanable filter. The filter uses silver particles for antimicrobial effectiveness. There is a soft silicone skirt that sits against the face which would appear to be both comfortable and able to provide an effective seal. The product also has a mouth vent which the manufacturer claims that it allows people to speak more easily through their masks. At $107, it is also a premium product but one that could be well worth the cost if it performs as the manufacturers describe.

These are just two examples of the countless innovations in development since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. Both companies mentioned here are small, innovative businesses who deserve much credit for their work.

For more information, please contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical Devices, Natural Health Products, OTC Drugs, Cosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.