Medical device company in Newport News expands, develops high-filtration face masks

blox98 sport.PNG
Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 23:02:36-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - ivWatch, a medical biosensor manufacturer based in Newport News, isn't taking any chances when it comes to COVID-19 and other airborne diseases.

In an effort to protect the public, after much research and engineering, the company launched its latest innovation: blox, a high-efficacy line of face masks and respirators that can be used from hospitals to the grocery store.

"We manufacture Class Two medical devices here. These masks that we have now put in our processes - we manufacture them to those extremely high standards," said ivWatch President and CEO Gary Warren. "Our goal is to constantly innovate and uncover new solutions that take safety, quality and performance to the next level."

News 3 was invited for a tour of the facility and watched as the masks were built from raw materials. The company prides itself on only sourcing the safest products.

Jaclyn Lautz, chief operating officer at ivWatch, said it takes 24 hours to get the filtration results because the masks need to be placed in an environmental chamber for 24 hours. Once that time has passed, they do a final filtration exam before the masks are counted and packaged.

"We saw a need in the market to develop an affordable, authentic, locally made mask collection, so we leveraged our talent, our material sourcing and manufacturing expertise and our innovation hub to bring high-filtration masks to market in record time," Lautz said.

The team has been working since August to complete this goal, and the masks hit the market this week. Currently the company is able to produce 8,000 to 9,000 masks a day, but soon they will average 20,000 a shift.

The first product available in this line is blox98. Other products in the pipeline include surgical respirators that are submitted to the CDC and approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Once approved, ivWatch will release blox N95 respirators with the N95 designation.

According to ivWatch, all blox masks are backed by efficacy testing and the new vQuality system.

Click here for full coronavirus coverage.