Imagine a busy hospital emergency department (ED) filled with patients, many of whom have or may have COVID-19. The need to contain the spread of germs became more important than ever. Early in the pandemic, Liz Hamilton, MD, and Kaitlyn Main, MD, Maine Medical Center (MMC) emergency department chief residents, addressed this growing challenge overnight with the help of attending emergency medicine physician Samir Haydar, DO.
Liz and Kaitlyn had created the first prototype of the CAPE, or Collapsible Aerosolized Particle Enclosure, a tent-like structure for hospital beds that offers an additional layer of protection for healthcare providers to safely administer high-risk treatments to potentially infectious patients. The physicians looked to two Maine companies – Thermoformed Plastics of New England and Baker Instruments – to help produce a more refined prototype and validate its ability to contain infectious particles.
In spring 2021, the CAPE team presented at a special “Innovation Showcase” demonstration for more than a dozen senior clinical and administrative leaders to gain additional user discovery insights and feedback. Shortly after, the team secured funding from the MaineHealth Innovation Ignite Fund to scale CAPE production and marketing efforts. With the help of a local medical device entrepreneur, the team received additional funds in fall 2021 from the next level of MaineHealth Innovation funding – the inaugural MaineHealth Innovation Bonfire Fund. The team is now focused on obtaining regulatory approval for the device’s use in hospital and field clinic settings.
With resounding validation and use-testing, the CAPE has proven to be comfortable for patients, adapts to any bed position and allows providers to observe patients and perform necessary interventions and procedures.
David Eagleson – CEO, Baker Co.
Paul Fitzpatrick – Medical Device Entrepreneur
Samir Haydar, DO, MPH – Emergency Physician, Maine Medical Center
Elizabeth Hamilton, MD – Former Emergency Resident, Maine Medical Center
Kaitlyn Main, MD – Former Emergency Resident, Maine Medical Center
Paul Tyson – Principal, Thermoformed Plastics of New England