Team Better Fit developed an inexpensive and quantitative respirator fit testing device to improve clinical access.
BetterFit’s device is composed of a testing chamber and two particle sensors that output data to provide a quantitative fit factor to a computer through two Arduinos.
The healthcare industry is forever evolving in theory and practice, however the priority of healthcare worker safety will always remain. The current global pandemic has shoved this priority into the spotlight so much so that countries of all types of healthcare systems have gone into lockdowns to ease the burden on our healthcare workers. Like any system, the first line of defence is always the most important and for healthcare workers fighting against the spread of a deadly disease, that would be an N95 respirator. Unfortunately, and widely ignored, an N95 respirator is only as good as its fit. Current quantitative mask fit testing devices are too expensive, too bulky, and industry oriented. The alternative, qualitative testing devices, are just not reliable enough for the importance of our healthcare workers. Our team aimed to create a device that would give hospitals access to an inexpensive and quantitative mask fit testing device. In order to verify the quantitative output of our device, we performed the respirator fit tests provided by OSHA, using their allocated equations and implementing a corresponding code for the particle sensors to formulate a fit factor. A cost of goods sold (COGS) analysis verified that our device would retail at a tenth of the price of current market devices. Our cost of goods allows us to be price competitive and maintain healthy margins. We have validated our device’s ability to output consistent quantitative fit factor measurements. We have also verified that we can achieve a fit factor of 100 for the N95 respirator, which meets the safety requirement set by OSHA. Overall, our device is able to improve respirator efficacy for healthcare workers by providing a reliable quantitative output and having an affordable cost.