Sanjeev Swamy, Founder and CEO, Livinguard AG, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Sanjeev Swamy, Founder and CEO, Livinguard AG, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Sanjeev Swamy, Founder and CEO, Livinguard AG , to know more about the innovations in face mask and the market potential for such preventive measures.

  1. How do you see the market for face masks today when the vaccination is round the corner?
  1. If the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything it is that the virus has always been one step ahead of us. While we’ve made considerable strides in the development of the vaccine, recent events prove the resilience of the virus; it is mutating much faster than anyone anticipated. As a result, any vaccine we have on the market now would also likely need to be modified to accommodate for emerging virus strains. Furthermore, it will be months before the vaccine is made available to everybody, notwithstanding the barriers to vaccine adoption. Therefore, a vaccine alone won’t be the answer, nor will it definitely mark the end of the pandemic; wearing masks & gloves, regular hand-washing and social distancing are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We have already seen Maharashtra make it compulsory to wear masks for the next six months and others will follow suit.

What inspired you to create Livinguard?
The journey of Livinguard started with the purpose of protecting the health and well-being of the people and the planet with the power of continuous disinfection. Our mission is to provide hygiene suited for the modern world.

Livinguard Technology was first conceived of in 2010 when posed with an interesting technical challenge from a British Brigadier General. He explained that on several occasions soldiers aren’t able to change their uniforms frequently, let alone wash them. He was looking for clothes that can be worn for 15 days at a stretch without causing any skin infections or odour. This got me thinking and we cracked the technology that destroyed bacteria and viruses; the main cause for odour and skin infections in these situations. We started with underwear and socks, and went on to treat uniforms. Through extensive R&D, we were able to diversify our product applications to include medical apparel, bakery textiles, water filters, sanitary napkins and most recently masks and gloves. The core of the technology – destroying bacteria and viruses – remains the same regardless of the product application.

We redesigned our existing face mask, treating it with the patented revolutionary Livinguard Technology, to provide the user with the ultimate protection against Covid-19, along with the necessary testing and regulatory clearances to support it. Out Technology has been proven to destroy >99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. All our masks can be reused for more than 6 months; if worn daily and washed weekly up to 30 times, each Livinguard mask effectively replaces 210 single-use masks. Thus, our technology not only protects the user, but also the planet. This is a culmination of years of effort including over 65,000 experiments and filing more than 100 patents.

No other masks in the market can claim the unique feature of continuous disinfection with non-leaching properties. We already have powerful data against various microbes including SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus, tuberculosis bacteria, superbugs like MRSA and VRE, commonly occurring bacteria like Staph.aureus and E.coli, and even fungi like Aspergillus niger, T.rubrum, and Candida albicans.

Livinguard’s face mask which is said to inactivate >99.9% of the Covid-19 virus. What is the claim based on?
Researchers from Freie Universität Berlin and ITA RWTH Aachen in Germany recently confirmed the efficacy of Livinguard’s self-disinfecting technology to permanently destroy the new coronavirus when applied to textiles or surfaces. Confirming that the technology can continuously inactivate viruses, including 99.9% of SARS-CoV-2. This testing was conducted in the context of the EIT Health Project ViruShield, supported by the European Union, with the objective to discover alternative filter materials for face masks in light of tight supply and globally imbalanced supply chains for personal protective equipment. Similarly, the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona, USA conducted laboratory testing on fabrics treated with the Livinguard technology and confirmed that the technology permanently deactivated greater than 99.9% of the human coronavirus. Professor Uwe Rösler of Free University of Berlin says, “The textiles in these masks can thus continuously inactivate the exhaled viruses and can make handling these masks even safer overall.” “In addition, such textiles could also help to reduce hygienic issues in other general and medical areas, even beyond COVID-19.”

Please elaborate on the technology used in the mask.
The principle underlying the Livinguard Technology is empowering the textile surface with a strong positive charge. When microbes come in contact with fabric, the microbial cell which is negatively charged, is destroyed leading to permanent destruction of the microorganism. Unlike heavy metal-based solutions, such as silver, zinc and copper, this novel technology has been found to be safe for both skin and lungs. Livinguard Technology is entirely different from other technologies since it is non leaching i.e. it is permanently bound to the textile and will not be separated from the substrate. It has also been found to be safe for use on skin and mucous membrane, making this technology the safest of its kind. On the other hand, dangerous leaching technologies are not permanently bound to the fabric or substrate. This means that they can be swallowed or inhaled, when used in face masks for example. Toxic effects of inhalation and ingestion of such chemicals have been widely demonstrated and cited in reputed peer reviewed journals and mainstream scientific literature In addition to the potentially devastating effects of toxic and unsafe leaching technologies on human safety, one should also consider the safety of allowing such technologies to find their way into waste water streams and our environment, as there is also sufficient data in the public domain pertaining to the environmental damage this may cause.

What is the kind of potential you see for your product in the Indian marketplace which is already saturated with masks?
Livinguard face masks are superior and different from the other masks available in the market. The difference lies in the fact that while other masks merely provide filtration of particulate matter and in some cases bacteria, Livinguard masks can inactivate 99.9% of Covcid-19 virus as proven by the University of Berlin and RWTH Aachen – two of the leading German research universities. A single mask of ours performs for 210 uses, this is the equivalent of 30 million single use masks per week, except that these destroy the Covid virus, are safer, more comfortable and convenient to use, and create far less waste than single-use alternatives. Livinguard remains committed to its battle against Covid-19 with its masks currently being used by law enforcement and frontline workers on a global scale, protecting those most vulnerable in the battle against Covid.

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