The Briefing provides an at-a-glance view of some important developments in the information universe surrounding COVID-19. The views presented here are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders.

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Two trends monitored by ECRI Horizon Scanning continue to develop.

First, some evidence suggests that coronavirus might be spread through the air in other ways besides through droplets. For example, coronavirus might be spread during medical procedures (see Topics to Watch for a novel way to mitigate that risk). In addition, case reports and study results (from Nebraska to China) have led some experts to caution that coronavirus could be spread through aerosols (potentially airborne particles much smaller than droplets) and that infection control measures should address how to best use masks and respirators to control viral spread (see Topics to Watch for a novel reusable respirator).

Second, COVID-19 can affect a patient’s entire body. Patient experience and medical experience suggest that COVID-19’s impacts can last a long time for those with mild to severe symptoms. Some are calling for additional research into COVID-19’s effects on the brain, the heart, and the whole body to improve care for current patients and to provide for survivors who might not be patients yet but who could have future care needs.

Negative-Pressure Tents to Limit Airborne Transmission of Coronavirus

At a Glance

  • Negative-pressure tents might reduce the risk of airborne coronavirus transmission to health care providers during care, transport, or aerosol-generating procedures.
  • Negative-pressure tents might reduce the need for negative-pressure rooms in health care facilities and improve patient throughput.
  • On June 13, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the NRSAVR-100 negative-pressure portable tent system for enhancing personal barrier protection for providers during airway management, medical procedures, or patient transport.
  • University of Michigan researchers also developed the Aerosolve negative-pressure tent and are seeking EUA.

Reusable Silicone Respirators to Protect Against Coronavirus Infection

At a Glance

  • Reusable silicone respirators might provide sustainable availability of reliable PPE while reducing medical waste.
  • A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) designed a silicon-based modular, reusable mask with a filtering facepiece respirator that could be mass-produced as an alternative to single-use N95 respirators.
  • The developers made the Open Standard Respirator, Model 1 design publicly available and are awaiting FDA EUA.

Commentary in this COVID-19 Scan reflects preliminary views of ECRI Horizon Scanning and internal ECRI stakeholders.
The information contained in this document has not been vetted by other stakeholders.

We welcome your comments on this Scan. Send them by email to [email protected].

Posted: August 10, 2020

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