One of the most inspiring COVID-19 stories MD+DI has come across this year is that of MasksOn.org. The non-profit organization set out in the early days of COVID-19 to design a modified snorkeling mask in an effort to provide PPE to frongline healthcare workers.
“The early days of MasksOn.org were a little bit chaotic,” said Sanjay Vakil, executive director for MasksOn.org. Working in Boston as a senior product manager in software development at Google, he had heard about a pair of anesthesiologists working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who were looking to adapt a snorkeling mask into a solution that could provide some sort of protection. Those doctors, Alex Stone, MD, and Jacqueline Boehme, MD, had emailed another Google product manager, Eugene Mann, who in turn reached out to the engineering community within Google, and that’s when Vakil decided to “jump in to figure out how to help."
“One of the amazing things about this group is that it’s not a team flush with medical device engineers and experienced medical device executives,” Devon Campbell, founder of Prodct and head of R&D at MyBiometry, told MD+DI. “It was an organization of people rising to the occasion, and they were from all sorts of different industries—from Google, from the CAD and drafting industry, from design teams, just all over the place. People were just helping and doing what they can during the front of the pandemic when a lot of people were in this fevered state to figure out what they can do to help and make a difference.”
To learn more about how the team members worked together, how they worked with clinicians to test their designs, how they raised donations, and what their potential plans are for the future, read the full story here or listen to MD+DI's podcast episode featuring MasksOn.org here.