Need to focus on design, quality and user-friendliness while manufacturing face shields to tackle COVID-19: Sachin Lunavat

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There is a need to focus towards complying with design, quality norms, and user friendliness while manufacturing face shields to tackle COVID-19 infections, according to industry experts, considering that today public and healthcare professionals find it inconvenient to wear face masks since it restricts comfortable breathing and also causes hindrance while talking.

Scientifically designed face shields with compliance to quality norms should be manufactured in India to provide better protection from COVID-19 as New Medical Device Rules 2017 has also set out specific guidelines towards categorizing medical devices into various classes based on risk levels.

“Face shields available in the market today are either too delicate or too heavy for the users to wear all day,” explains Sachin Lunavat, director, Bluemark Promotions who has designed Smartguard Face Shield after studying the limitations of various offerings in the market and provide users with an all-round safety against two major channels of COVID-19 infection which is droplet splash and touching of face with infected hands.

The Smartguard weighs merely 100 grams and is designed to completely cover the users face. The shield comes with replaceable visors and filters and is designed to provide users a comfortable wearing experience without any fogging or voice echo. The Smartguard is also the first face shield in the product category to provide air filters.

“Since the design stage of this product, we have focused towards complying with various quality norms related to manufacturing medical devices in India. We have received the ISO 13485:2016 standard as well as CE certification for the Smartguard Face Shield,” Lunavat emphasized.

Currently, there are two categories of face shields in the market. The first one is made of plastic film which was immediately available after the virus outbreak. While they were the best possible solution at that time, they’re too fragile and not reusable leading to high plastic waste generation. The second type is the ones supplied by major helmet companies. These are reusable and sturdy in nature but are not comfortable to wear all day due to their heavyweight and voice echo issue.

“We have observed that Smartguard provides best-in-class safety and comfort for the people and within a month of its launch. We are now working towards increasing our daily production capacity from 5,000 pieces per day to 10,000 pieces by end of this month” said Lunavat.

“It is really encouraging that the Smartguard has become the first choice for all health workers and the general public. Apart from the Indian market we will also be exporting this to San Francisco, Italy, Canada, UAE, Ecuador, Nairobi and other countries. The Smartguard is one of our first patented products under our brand ‘COVID Comfort’ and we have many more innovations in the pipeline focused towards pushing manufacturing of quality medical devices in India,” said Lunavat.

Till date, the company has supplied more than 2 lakh Smartguard Face Shields through our various distribution channels. The market is divided into 4 major sectors which are retail trade, institutional sales, e-commerce and exports.

“We have received very positive feedback from the market since the product is very unique and first of its kind in the market. Our initial demand was from the healthcare industry professionals since they were working in extremely high-risk environments. However, as the government is lifting restrictions in order to unlock the economy, people from all professionals have are choosing Smartguard as their back-to-work essential,” Lunavat explained.

There was also an industry shift between the month of March 2020 to August 2020 wherein a number of people from non-pharmaceutical sector started dealing in COVID-19 medical devices.

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