BIRMINHGAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A tech startup called Satterfield Technologies has developed a new 3-D printed mask already being worn by some healthcare workers in Birmingham during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The masks are made to have changeable, but also reusable filters that fit on the end of a custom made mask designed to fit an individual doctor’s face. And, for a fraction of the long term cost. 

“We can make these custom fit masks, or rapidly make changes to the design, use different materials as needed. So we’re not subject to the same shortage and we can make them a lot faster,” Forrest Satterfield said.

The masks can theoretically last years with changeable N-95 filters that fit on the front. Satterfield hopes it provides a solution to the PPE shortage plaguing the healthcare industry. He’s working on being able to produce them faster and at a larger scale.

One doctor at UAB’s emergency room says she has worn one, and has helped Satterfield perfect the design.

“The last time i took and wore the mask in the ER, everybody loved it,” Dr. Jennifer Hess, a UAB Emergency Room physician said. “Each of us as providers can have our own mask that’s durable and usable almost like a stethoscope. We’d have our own N-95 that we then take care of that the hospital wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning and that’s super durable. It’s more expensive than the individual N-95s, but right now those last a week or two. This is something that could last a year or two.”

Satterfield’s masks sell for $25 dollars each, which he says reduces the longterm cost for a doctor, and he hopes eventually reducing cost for hospitals.

“We’re not here to get rich. We’re here to make a difference,” he said.

Masks are available to order by clicking here.

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