Inez Lam and ClearMask team take top prize at Social Innovation Lab showcase
Inez Lam, ICM PhD student in the lab of Feilim Mac Gabhann, is part of the team of innovators behind ClearMask, a Hopkins-grown startup that won the top funding prize of $25,000 at the Social Innovation Lab showcase on Wednesday. Lam along with Alyssa Dittmar, Aaron Hsu and Elyse Heob, all current or former graduate students at Hopkins, have created a fog-resistant, breathable, clear surgical mask designed to improve communication between patients and doctors.
The concept behind ClearMask emerged when Dittmar, who is deaf, lost the ability to read the lips and facial expressions of doctors and nurses because they were wearing surgical masks as she was being prepped for surgery a few years ago. By allowing full visibility of facial expression and non-verbal cues, ClearMask improves communication for all patients while blocking germs and bodily fluids.