A man wearing a mask and gloves working on a mannequin.

Canadian Innovators Take Rising COVID Cases Head-On

Health and Life Sciences
Published On
November 12, 2020
Dr. Mark Curial demonstrates use of the portable Aerosol Containment Tent (ACT) on a mannequin (credit: MACH32

Edmonton-based companies MACH32 and Andau Medical bring to market an aerosol containment device to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure for healthcare personnel and patients.

Canadian Innovators at MACH32 have vowed to build better protection for healthcare personnel as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country. The Public Health Agency of Canada acknowledged last week that the COVID-19 virus is spread through aerosols, small droplets which linger in the air. As a result, the risk to healthcare personnel and patients is higher than originally anticipated and greater precautionary measures are needed. MACH32 says negative pressure patient isolation for high risk procedures is the key to making hospital environments safer.

Dr. Marc Curial and the MACH32 team have developed a device called the Aerosol Containment Tent (ACT). The ACT is designed to create a negative pressure zone around a patient’s head during critical airway procedures such as intubation and ventilation. “Airway procedures are the most high-risk procedures for exposure to aerosolized COVID-19 particles,” says Dr. Curial. “The ACT needs to become the standard for care in hospitals now and after this pandemic for all aerosol-generating procedures.”

The ACT device uses negative pressure and a HEPA filter to contain 99.97% of particles, rather than allowing the particles to escape into the surrounding environment. It is the only portable device on the market that enables clinicians to perform procedures while the patient is under negative pressure, providing an additional layer of protection to healthcare personnel.

In partnership with Edmonton-based medical device distributor Andau Medical, MACH32 is actively pursuing adoption in hospitals across Canada. While negative pressure isolation rooms are widely used in healthcare, the ACT provides portable, patient-specific negative pressure isolation that provides healthcare personnel with equivalent or better protection at a fraction of the cost.

“Clinicians performing high risk aerosol generating procedures are better protected when procedures are performed under negative pressure,” adds Sandi Wright, Founder & CEO of Andau Medical. “PPE is not enough, and we need to think beyond face masks to keep our health systems functional and the risk to healthcare personnel and patients as low as possible.”

Healthcare facilities impacted by COVID-19 infections and exposures lead to staff shortages and procedural delays. Staff exposure leads to loss of resources, increased overtime and staff burn-out. “We no longer have to risk delaying or cancelling elective procedures,” says Dr. Curial. “I’m proud of my dedicated team for rising to the COVID challenge and building this innovative solution.”

About MACH32

MACH32 Inc was founded in 2019 by Dr. Marc Curial and Chris Terriff, P.Eng, two Edmonton-based entrepreneurs intent on developing practical solutions for the healthcare market. MACH32 is a start-up company, determined to create safe, reliable, and functional tools to save lives in urgent situations. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the idea for the Aerosol Containment Tent (ACT) was rapidly designed and developed to protect healthcare personnel from infectious aerosols. MACH32 product portfolio also includes drug-delivery systems for pre-hospital trauma care.

About Andau Medical

Andau Medical is a Canadian Medical Device and Dental Device company focused on providing the market with quality technologies that improve patient outcomes and enhance the clinical experience in delivering exceptional patient care. With expertise in sales, marketing, regulatory and distribution Andau Medical actively collaborates with manufacturers who have unique products that drive value in the delivery of patient care in Canada. The ACT is a Catalyst4care Project.