Baltimore, Maryland (August 25, 2015)—The partnership of Jhpiego, a nonprofit global health affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design (CBID) has been selected as a finalist for the 2015 INDEX: Award for its design of a new, improved suit to protect health workers fighting Ebola and other infectious diseases. A third partner, Clinvue, a Baltimore-based innovation consultancy, also contributed to the design.
The award, worth $150,000, is the world’s preeminent prize to inspire and reward top innovators and designs that improve lives. Nominated in the Body award category for its personal protective suit, Jhpiego and CBID are among 46 finalists chosen from 1,123 nominations. One winner will be announced from each category: Body, Home, Work, Play & Learning and Community on Thursday, August 27, 2015, in Denmark.
The team designed the suit during an October 2014, weekend-long hackathon of global health experts, scientists, engineers and creative talents in response to a call to action from the White House and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for improved personal protective equipment during the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 500 health workers. The suit design has elements to keep the wearer more comfortable and reduce the risk of coming in contact with infectious fluids during treatment and while removing the suit. Enhancements include a large, clear visor in the hood, which is integrated into the suit; air vents in the hood; a rear zipper to reduce infection risks while removing the garment; and a cocoon-style doffing (removal) process that requires far fewer steps than existing garments. A more advanced version includes a small battery-powered, dry air source to cool the user by blowing air into the hood.
“To be considered for this prestigious award alongside so many remarkable institutions is truly a privilege,” said Leslie Mancuso, President and CEO of Jhpiego. “As technical leaders in infection prevention and control and experts in building a skilled global health workforce, we are incredibly proud of the suit and its potential to save the lives of nurses, midwives and other health professionals around the globe who are dedicated to delivering quality care, often under challenging circumstances.”
Youseph Yazdi, Executive Director of CBID and professor in the Johns Hopkins University Department of Biomedical Engineering agrees. “It has truly been a privilege and labor of love for CBID’s students, faculty and staff to work with great partners like Jhpiego and Clinvue to design something that addresses such a great need. We are just eager to see this in the field helping the front-line heroes providing care.”
For more information, please contact Melody McCoy, Vice President for External Relations and Communications, at Melody.McCoy@jhpiego.org or 410.537.1829.
Jhpiego (pronounced "ja-pie-go") is an international, non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. For 42 years, Jhpiego has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families.
About Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design (CBID)
CBID has a dual mission of education and innovation, both focused on designing solutions to pressing health challenges around the world. The program, part of the #1 ranked Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins, runs roughly 20 health care innovation teams each year and educates over 100 students to become effective health care problem solvers. Please visit us at CBID.bme.jhu.edu.