The Elmo Helmet

The Elmo is an assisted breathing helmet to treat patients with middle or moderate Covid-19. Developed in the state of Ceará, Brazil, the product improves the breath capacity, reduces by 60% the need for hospitalization in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and itwhich is non-invasive, cheaper and safer for health professionals.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought us many challenges, but it also provided the opportunity to join forces and union among science, technology and innovation. Through a public-private partnership, the device was created, modified and obtained functional improvement in its use and manufacture, adapting to new market technologies, aiming at greater efficiency and itwhich constitutes an innovation that substantially improves the use of the Hyperbaric Helmet. 

The Elmo helmet provides continuous positive airway pressure while delivering high levels of oxygen. Thus, in addition to improving the patient’s respiratory condition, the mechanism allows it to be used outside ICU beds, disinfected and reused. 

The project is a joint initiative among the University of Fortaleza (Unifor), Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Federation of Industries of the State of Ceará (FIEC), through the National Service for Industrial Learning od Ceará (SENAI/Ceará), and the Government from the State of Ceará, through the Ceará Health Department (Sesa), the Ceará School of Public Health (ESP/CE) and the Ceará Foundation for Supporting Scientific and Technological Development (Funcap). The Elmo helmet also has the support of Esmaltec and the Institute of Health and Hospital Management (ISGH).

How it works

The assisted breathing helmet is basically composed of three components: a rigid ring, through which the tubes with oxygen supply enter; a flexible latex or silicone base that fits around the patient’s neck; and a PVC cap, which is the helmet itself, mounted on the other two components. 

Initial use is when the patient is awake, alert and conscious. The device wraps around the entire head and is placed on the neck with a base that seals the passage of air. A flow of medical gases with oxygen (O2) and compressed air capable of generating a positive pressure (above atmospheric pressure) is applied. This pressure helps in situations that the lung is having difficulty in oxygenation.