June 9, 2020

Fundación Chile, Hospital San Juan de Dios, and Universidad San Sebastián:

Low-cost high-performance facial shields

• The 100% Chilean shield was designed by the School of Architecture of Universidad San Sebastian and prototyped in collaboration with the clinical team in charge of the sanitary emergency at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, thus having the required features to protect both health personnel and patients.

• The members of the Chilean Plastics Pact donated the PET material to manufacture the initial 5,000 units needed to carry out this project.

Fundación Chile, through the Chilean Plastics Pact; the School of Architecture of Universidad San Sebastián (EA USS), and Hospital San Juan de Dios (HSJD), are articulating a consortium to design very low cost and high performance facial shields that will be donated to the Servicio de Salud Occidente (Western Health Service) through the HSJD.

The strategic alliance seeks to unite efforts so that, in view of the low availability of this product in the market, health care facilities can count on this product, which is so important to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This 100% Chilean shield was designed by the EA USS and was prototyped alongside the Hospital San Juan de Dios’ clinical team responsible for the sanitary emergency, therefore it counts with the all the necessary features required to protect both the health personnel and the patients. To carry out this project, the Chilean Plastics Pact donated the PET material to manufacture the first 5,000 units.

According to Marcos Kulka, CEO at Fundación Chile, this initiative is part of a set of challenges that FCh is addressing as a result of the Covid 19 crisis; in this case, it is to protect health workers on the frontlines. “To do this, we have articulated the public, academic, and private spheres, designing a fast and 100% Chilean solution at a low-cost and that meets all the required protection standards.” 

Being one single material, its manufacturing speed, flat pack, and minimal parts stand out among its distinctive design features.

Daniel Ortiz, National Coordinator of Manufacturing Workshops at the USS Faculty of Architecture, explains the decision to work with one single material, PET sheets, which allow high productivity and flexibility in its manufacture – by means of multiple methods: laser cutting, die-cutting or manual cutting – while keeping in mind that it can be a reusable product and that at the end of its useful life it can be completely recycled with a minimum of effort. 

Its manufacture also prioritized production times, for which simple cutting, anchoring, and adjustment systems were designed, executed in a single step of the machine. And that the amount of pieces were minimal; in this case, only two (instead of 3 or 4 which are the usual), given they must be disassembled for transportation.

The Director of the Hospital San Juan de Dios, Midori Sawada, valued the joint work of the private, academic, and health sectors in pursuit of a common goal. “I am grateful on behalf of the entire hospital community for this significant donation of facial shields, which will provide greater health care to our clinical staff and strengthen the care of our patients.

The design will be available at the AFES Chile platform with free access for anyone who wants to prevent the COVID-19 spread, where an ethical price will be established, as well indications for manufacturers and buyers so they are enabled to produce and  distribute them throughout the national territory by small digital manufacturers. 

In case assistance facilities are lacking N95 facemasks, the facial shield can be used over surgical masks in case of assisting cases that generate aerosols. 

Collaboration and Life

This initiative is part of Colaboración y Vida (Collaboration and Life); how Fundación Chile has named the work it is deploying to respond to the health and economic crisis that resulted from the CoVid-19, by emphasizing agile, scalable, and socially impacting initiatives and solutions. We are certain that the only possible way to resolve this crisis and move ahead, is by doing so collectively. Learn more here.


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