VIHELM: An award-winning Mobile Isolation Helmet – Vihelm

VIHELM: An award-winning Mobile Isolation Helmet

Think you are safe with masks? Masks expose the eyes, which are a key route for pathogens to infect humans, as found by researchers at the University of Hong Kong. On average, people touch their faces 23 times an hour. That means roughly every 3 minutes you risk transferring the threat from contaminated surfaces to your body–potentially through the eyes–even if you are wearing a mask.

VIHELM introduces a breakthrough innovation by combining a protective helmet with the concept of a glove box used in laboratory settings, offering a way to touch the face while still keeping the respiratory tract isolated from the external environment.

Now you can safely touch your face, thanks to a skin-friendly glove made from waterproof antibacterial nano silver fabric placed at the bottom front of the helmet, which can be neatly folded away when not in use.

Another risk with mask-wearing comes when you have to remove your mask to eat or drink. Do you take off your mask and risk contamination, or endure hunger and thirst?

Choose VIHELM and recharge with an energy bar or a juice box stored inside two removable elastic pockets attached to the inner sides of the helmet. Get the sustenance you need without having to compromise your protection.

The pockets can also be used to store other personal items such as glasses, facial tissues, etc.

In this new normal, everything you touch might be a deadly threat, as pathogens can live for days on many surfaces:

VIHELM fully covers all entrances that lead to the respiratory tract and fixes all current protective gear’s shortcomings such as eye exposure and uncovered gaps,  protecting you even when in close contact (within 6 feet). Combined with the innovative glove, VIHELM prevents you from either inhaling airborne pathogen vectors or touching contaminated objects, so that you can safely touch your loved ones.

VIHELM is designed to offer the best possible protection even in high-risk environments such as airports and long flights, as well as superspreader events. 

Layers of protection – a medical-grade non-woven filter, a HEPA filter, and a optional high-efficiency germicidal UV chamber – remove all the invisible dangers of air pollution and air-transmitted threats, including: tobacco smoke, fine dust, pollutants, and pathogens from the air.

VIHELM’s powerful blower maintains positive pressure inside the helmet at all times, and pumps more than 9 cubic feet (252 liters) of fresh, purified air into the breathing zone every minute. The air supply system can be powered by any off-the-shelf smartphone power bank or power supply. It can last for 8 hours on maximum airflow rate with a large power bank. What’s more, the power bank can be charged while in use, guaranteeing uninterrupted protection.

The filter cartridge and breathing tube can be moved from the back to the front, allowing comfortable sitting experience. VIHELM’s compact design can be easily used even within the confinement of an economy-class seat.

Studies have found that each dollar invested in business travel can generate as much as $12.50 in revenue, it’s clear that the inability to travel safely has cost a lot of money for business.

VIHELM IS RECOGNIZED BY W.H.O & UNDP

VIHELM has been presented to and praised by W.H.O, UNDP, as well as leading physicians from large hospitals in Vietnam.

VIHELM was introduced at a workshop of the United Nations Development Program.

www.vn.undp.org/content/vietnam/en/home/pressce…

 The VIHELM team met with the W.H.O representative office for Vietnam to present the innovative helmet design.

VIHELM has been independently tested by the Key Laboratory of Advanced Material for Green Growth, Vietnam National University and meets ISO 13485:2016 Standard of Quality Management for Medical Devices.

You can access the report on our website: https://vihelm.com/lab-certified/

Do you belong to high-risk groups – doctors, nurses, service workers, the elderly… – groups which remain especially vulnerable in these troubled times? 

At Vihelm, we believe that no one should be left behind in the fight against the current pandemic. Therefore, we would like to give you the best possible protection with this affordable package. The protective system is kept exactly the same, the only difference is the blower’s reduced strength, which changes the air volume reaching the helmet from 9CFM to NIOSH standard of 6 CFM.

*Add-on voice-out valves and safety valves will be released shortly after the campaign and will be fully functional with your Kickstarter VIHELM Mobile Isolation Helmet.

AWARD AND MEDIA COVERAGE

At the prestigious iCAN Canada 2020, VIHELM surpassed from 632 projects from 61 countries to win three awards: Best Invention Design Award, Special Award and Gold Medal.

iCAN (The International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada) is an annual event organized by the Toronto International Society of Innovation & Advanced Skills (TISIAS). For 27 years since its establishment, TISIAS has helped hundreds of inventors bring their ideas to the international stage and become celebrated by their peers.

VIHELM IN THE MEDIA

VIHELM was featured in Reuters, NYTimes, NYPost and hundreds of major newspapers all over the world as an innovative design in the fight against the pandemic.

UNDP: https://www.vn.undp.org/content/vietnam/en/home…

W.H.O

New York Post: https://nypost.com/2020/09/10/new-covid-19-helm…

U.S.News: https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020…

yahoo!news: https://news.yahoo.com/vihelm-let-frontline-wor…

Hindustan Times: https://www.hindustantimes.com/it-s-viral/vietn…

GMA News Online: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/lifestyle/conte…

National Post: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/health-pmn/snack-s…

Journal Star: https://journalstar.com/mask-lets-frontline-wor…

dailymotion: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7w1fc4

KOMPAS: https://www.kompas.com/global/read/2020/09/13/1…

Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coron…

Milenio: https://www.milenio.com/internacional/vietnam-c…

CBS Los Angeles: https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/09/25/stud…

Channel News Asia: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/vietn…

The Sun Daily: https://www.thesundaily.my/world/reuters/correc…

All India News: https://allindianews24x7.com/vietnamese-school-…

MSN: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-vihelm-le…

The Star: https://www.thestar.com.my/aseanplus/aseanplus-…

News Now Vegas: https://newsnowvegas.com/snack-scratch-in-safet…

The World News: https://theworldnews.net/us-news/new-covid-19-h…

International Kontan: https://internasional.kontan.co.id/news/helm-bu…

Vihelm has been independently tested by the Key Laboratory of Advanced Material for Green Growth, Vietnam National University and meets ISO 13485:2016 Standard of Quality Management for Medical Device.

AROUND-THE-CLOCK SAFETY – COMPREHENSIVE PROTECTION 

The world we live in today is full of constant health threats: Pollutants, allergens, viral microbes, etc. A brush against the door knob, a sneeze from the next person on the check-up line… anything can potentially be health-threatening.

With VIHELM, you are protected with an iron-clad defense system, consisting of three protective layers

The first is a replaceable medical-grade filter made from non-woven fabric, which screens out large respiratory droplets and contaminants such as pollens and fine dust while still allowing air to easily pass through. Similar market offerings are surgical masks, though those kinds of filters all share the common limitation of letting past pathogens in tiny droplets..

That’s why we have a second layer: a HEPA filter chamber, which can capture 99.97% of particulate matter down to 0.3 microns, 300x smaller than fine sand. The famous N95 mask serves a similar purpose but has lower filtration efficiency.

A test by an independent lab (dated on Nov. 20th. 2020) has shown that when the PM2.5 concentration outside is 145,296 particles/m3, the level inside Vihelm is 0 in 40 continuous tests, meaning an efficiency rate of 100.00%.
You can access the report on our website: https://vihelm.com/lab-certified

LOW CO2 BUILD-UP

Vihelm’s powerful blower can draw in 27 cubic feet (ft³) of air through the filters and supply 9 ft³ of fresh air into your breathing zone every minute. As a result, the CO2 build-up inside the helmet is kept at 2,471 ppm (part per million), or 0.2471% (test dated Nov. 19th. 2020).

To read the full test report, click here.

This is a great result compared to the concentration of 5,500 to 11,700 ppm in other surgical helmets and PAPRs measured by the CDC. Even inside N95, surgical, and cloth masks, the concentration can vary from 9,000, up to 14,000, depending on the experiments.

OSHA sets the legal exposure limit to only 5,000 ppm averaged over an 8-hour workday, as high levels of CO2 build-up in the breathing zone could impair thinking, cause headache and dizziness, induce unconsciousness and even death.

If even professional PAPRs can’t meet the standard set by OSHA, imagine how much worse that “next-generation” protective equipment, which seems to focus more on delivering comfort than safety, is? As hardly any gear provided 6 CFM air flow – the standard NIOSH set for loose-fitting PAPR, not only can they not deliver the protection you need, but they might even expose you to more serious dangers.

VIHELM – KEEP A COOL HEAD

Do you have to meet a lot of people during work?

If so, you are probably not a stranger to the severe discomfort of long-term mask-wearing. It leaves your face painful and itchy. It raises the humidity and temperature inside the breathing zone, fogging up your glasses and causing rashes and pimples.

With VIHELM, thanks to our high end blower, the air in the headgear constantly moves and provides a feeling of coolness. When test participants put on VIHELM and walk around indoors, the difference in temperature and humidity becomes virtually unnoticeable: an increase of 32.5°F (0.3°C) in temperature and 6% in humidity (test dated Nov. 20th 2020).

To find out more about the test’s design and result, click here.

VIHELM version 1, with another model of blower, had already shown remarkable power in keeping the temperature increase to only 0.9°C. With version 3, we have gone even further and reduced the difference to only 0.3°C.

SAFETY VAVLES

Aside from allowing your voice to pass through, the voice-out valves are also designed to let your exhaled air escape, enabling better breathability and reducing the pressure inside the headgear.

What if your batteries run out while sleeping in-between shifts?

Worry not. In that case, the low pressure inside would allow the outside air to get in through the filter covering the voice-out valves. Another safety valve is placed at the forehead area, which would open if the blower stops, providing additional air supply.

Other types of  protective gear, though effective, are not designed to be used for long stretches of time, and therefore are without fail-safe measures to minimize the harm caused by system failure, which might happen with long-term use. Vihelm includes the safety valve in order to serve average consumers who need long-term protection in their daily lives.

LEAK TEST & DROP TEST 

VIHELM’s durability was tested by dropping an iron ball from four different heights onto the helmet, which is placed on a mannequin’s head without the adjustable strap. It was able to withstand the force and stay firm and unscathed on the head in all 4 tries.

Unscientific experiment: Indestructible helmet

An experiment is conducted to check if any air can get inside the fan filter assembly in any way other than through the filters-blower by blowering white CO2 smoke toward the component. It can be seen that the smoke could only get in through the filters (thanks to the force of the blower inside), which goes to show that the air which comes into the breathing is 100% filtered and purified.

Small Volume Test Production 

We are carrying out small-scale production at limited costs, in order to quality-check and supply to a small group of customers on-demand.

At the present, customers are already able to purchase 3D-printed products from VIHELM. The manufacturing cost is high for small-scale production but we believe it’s highly important to reduce time to market.

In December, the VIHELM team started an INDIEGOGO campaign to cover the substantial cost of high-quality molds. VIHELM will replace 3D printing with plastic injection molding technologies and expect to bring down the unit cost in mass production, allowing our innovative product to reach a wider market.

The entire manufacturing process will take place in Vietnam – home to production plants of world-leading tech firms such as LG and Samsung. Taking advantage of Vietnam’s low labour cost, readily available material and production infrastructure, we are committed to bringing you high-quality, state-of-the-art PPE affordable to all.

We are counting on community’s support to begin making high-tech molds for mass production to serve the consumer market.

After reaching our goal on INDIEGOGO, we can begin shipping almost immediately. The faster we meet our goal, the sooner you can start being protected with VIHELM.

The Vihelm team understands that you might be wearing our product for hours at a time, even days with little break in between. That’s why Vihelm is designed to give you not only the highest protection but also the best user experience possible.

Be protected whatever you do 

Every minute, Vihelm’s powerful blower draws in 27 cubic feet (ft³) of air through the filters and pumps 9 ft³ of fresh air into your breathing zone. This means you enjoy 225% more air volume than someone working at a moderate rate will ever need (4 CFM).

An air duct is used to direct this powerful airflow into the breathing zone, keeping positive pressure inside the headgear at all times. Even when you need more air during exercise, or move in such a way as to widen the gaps left by the elastic ring cradling your face, no unfiltered air can sneak in.

If you have ever tried one of those next-generation respirators and moved around in certain ways, you might have felt the ambient air leak in through the gaps. Put on Vihelm, turn on the blower, do ridiculous stunts, and you are still able to breathe clean, purified air to your heart’s content.

Flexible face-touching 

A soft foldable glove kept at the bottom center of the face shield gives users the freedom and flexibility to easily touch the entire face.

Ergonomically superior design 

An adjustable strap at the back anchors the helmet firmly on the head. As it is perfectly anchored around the forehead, you will never find yourself in the ridiculous situation of having the nose flattened against the face shield.

More control over your air supply 

Our filter cartridge is put on a belt, which is fastened around the waist instead of the back, to avoid blocking the air inlet when you lean back against a wall or the back of a chair. When you sit, the cartridge and breathing tube can be moved to the front.

 TO BRING YOU BACK TO A NEW NORMAL LIFE

WITH VIHELM, YOU ARE PROTECTED

Protected from high-contact surfaces and air pollutants

Shielded against viral aerosols

Kept away from allergens travelling in the air

Guarded against the dangers to spread diseases

LONG-LASTING BATTERY

The air supply system can be powered by any off-the-shelf smartphone power bank or power supply. It can last for 8 hours on maximum airflow rate with a large power bank. You can use one and take the other out for charging or use and charge both simultaneously anywhere: in offices, in cars, on airplanes, or with mobile power banks. Wherever you are, uninterrupted protection is guaranteed for however long you need it.

The batteries are both equipped with automatic flow control and LED indicator light to signal battery level.

PRODUCT ROADMAP

From the first version to the third, the VIHELM team had been consulting with large hospitals and healthcare experts to improve various features:

  • Minimizing carbon dioxide (CO2) level
  • Maximizing particle filtration efficacy
  • Improving the visor’s optical correctness
  • Lessening voice absorption for better communication
  • Reducing helmet’s weight

As the 3rd version was certified by an independent lab, the team was confident in the overall quality and presented the helmet to W.H.O. and received very favourable comments. After that, VIHELM continued to win more awards for the helmet.

In late November, the 4th version of the helmet (replacing HEPA filter with UVC Germicidal chamber) was introduced, ready for commercialization.

SHIPPING

Currently, we only ship domestically from our warehouse in the U.S.. Shipping fees vary depending on distance, between 15 to 18 USD.

Vihelm is a product of months of extensive research, selection of material & manufacturers, test-production, measuring and evaluation, and application for quality standard & certificates.. Now we need your help in pledging to make high-tech molds, which is the final necessary step to initialize mass production.

After reaching our goal on INDIEGOGO, we can begin shipping almost immediately. The faster we meet our goal, the sooner you can start being protected with VIHELM.

  • Guaranteed Delivery: You will receive your Vihelm, or you will get your money back. 100%.
  • One-for-One Warranty: If the product you receive is faulty in any way, send it back to us in exchange for a new one.
  • Shipping Insurance: If the product you receive suffers damages during shipping, send it back to us and we will send you a new one.

WE HAVE A TOTALLY FREE CREATIVE LICENSE

 

Our vision is to help everyone to safely connect in this dangerous time. Not just one group, not just one country, but anyone, anywhere. Therefore, we would like to open access to Vihelm design with the CC BY-ND License at https://vihelm.com/source-code/.

As long as attribution is given to Vihelm, any organization and individual is free to copy and redistribute this design in any medium or format for any purpose, even commercially. However, if you alter, transform, or build upon the material, it cannot be distributed.

HOW TO PUT ON THE HELMET 

1. Open the ring on the blower case, put the filter in and close the ring

2. Put everything on a flat surface (like a tabletop)

3. Put the battery into the pouch (or into the case)

4. Open the belt

5. Pull out the adhesive strip at the back of the pouch

6. Place the battery pouch onto the belt with the strip under it and press the strip and the pouch together

7. Place the blower onto the belt with the handle under it

8. Connect the cable connector to the blower then to the battery

9. Connect the breathing tube to the helmet

10. Put the helmet on (chin in first)

– Turn the knob clockwise to fasten the strap until the helmet stays firmly on your head

– Connect the other end of the breathing tube to the blower

– Press the button on the battery to turn on the blower (in the case of using the battery pouch)

*If the battery case is in use: a. press the button on the battery (or batteries) – b. close the battery case – c. turn on the switch on the battery case

11. Turn the knob on the blower to adjust the airflow rate

*You should turn on the highest airflow rate in order to minimize the CO2 concentration level inside the helmet and achieve the highest air quality.

There are two battery slots in the battery case. You can use one and take the other out for charging or use and charge both simultaneously with any power source with a USB port. The batteries are equipped with automatic flow control and LED indicator light to signal the battery level.

Enjoy complete protection while going about your day as normal!

Certified specs tested in independent labs

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Umi fabric: Soft, breathable, elastic, absorbent and fast-drying

Glove: waterproof antibacterial nanosilver fabric

Double battery-slot case fit for 2 anker batteries

Battery life: 8-12h (30,000 mAh)

RISKS AND CHALLENGES 

The headgear currently weighs 2.2 lbs (0.9 kg) – 63% of the average weight of a full-face bicycle helmet (3.5 lbs/1.6kg). Committed to providing you with the best possible experience, we are considering reducing the size of the face shield, striking a balance between a lean, compact design and functionality including a sufficient breathing zone and comfort for the wearer.

Every project comes with risks, but we have been trying to keep the risks to a minimum. Small-volume test production has been carried out using 3D printing for clinical trials and (after tweaks) functional tests. We have a tight management plan to control every production input such as supplies and labor.

We crowdfund in order to create high-tech molds for mass production.

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