The WHO tells us infectious diseases kill over 17m people each year; and despite the latest advances in technology, the impact of the Covid19 pandemic demonstrates the fragility of our health, social and economic systems. Additionally, our current long-reaching global supply chains and trend towards increased use of disposable medical equipment have led to mass shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), placing healthcare workers around the world in direct risk of infection.
With experts forecasting an increase in the emergence of new infectious diseases, access to safe and sustainable PPE is becoming do or die. In response, Aegis proposes a PPE alternative that is both bio-constructed and biodegradable.
Drawing from the unique properties of Cumbungi (Typha latifolia)—an Australian aquatic weed—Aegis is designing an innovative isolation gown along with an integrated system of medical waste disposal. The gown is made of a newly developed bio-textile consisting of woven fibres and starch-based biopolymers, protecting wearers without costing the environment. The collection and anaerobic digestion of used gowns could then partially power both Aegis and medical facility operations, resulting in further environmental benefits through energy savings.