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Imagine lying on the operating table under bright lights, about to undergo surgery. You can tell that your doctors are speaking to you, but you can’t hear a word they’re saying; and you can’t lip-read because they’re all wearing surgical masks.
Allysa Dittmar, who was born deaf, had this experience in 2015 when her sign-language interpreter didn’t show up in time for her surgery.
“It was a very dehumanizing experience” and caused “a lot of anxiety, confusion and fear,” Dittmar told the Wall Street Journal.
It was a nightmare she never wanted anyone to experience, so two years later she and her three cofounders invented a solution: ClearMask, a transparent face mask that is now FDA-approved.
ClearMask is experiencing a surge in demand this year as individuals don face masks for protection during the pandemic, effectively closing off communication for those who rely on lip-reading and facial expressions. The company went from $0 in revenue in 2019 to more than 12 million masks sold worldwide since April, Dittmar told Business Insider via email.
(Dittmar declined to share exact revenue figures for the Baltimore-based business, but a box of 24 medical masks typically costs $108.)
“It’s not just traditional deaf people,” who could benefit …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Strategy