A pair of hiking masks has been given the thumbs up by a Google scientist, who said the material has proven effective in lowering altitude.
The US-based firm, Google, has been working with the US government on ways to help people with respiratory problems adapt to altitude sickness.
It has also developed a new mask for the US military, which is also being tested in the United States.
But in a blog post, the head of Google’s Mountain View headquarters, Eric Schmidt, said it was too early to say whether the technology was effective in raising the risk of altitude sickness in the mountains.
“Our initial testing showed that it lowered the risk for some people by about 20 percent, and we think it is probably going to be even more effective,” Mr Schmidt wrote.
“In fact, we’ve already seen a 20 percent reduction in altitude-related mortality in the US when we tested this technology.”
Mr Schmidt said the masks would not stop anyone from breathing in oxygen, but he added that they could help people stay in the air.
“These masks will allow you to stay up high in the world,” he said.
“You may not feel the effects of the altitude sickness as often, but they are still important for people with airways issues and for people who are in the middle of an asthma attack.”
The masks are made from a lightweight, flexible material called a polyethylene glycol (PET), which is flexible enough to bend under the force of gravity.
It is designed to work with the body’s own elastic properties, and could reduce the amount of oxygen it needs to breathe in.
The first of a new class of high-tech masks was developed by Google in 2013, and was widely tested in hospitals and the military.
“When you’re up there for a long period of time, there’s a lot of oxygen in your lungs and your body is able to compensate by releasing CO2 into your blood stream,” said Dr Andrew Zalman, from the US Air Force Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, who helped develop the masks.
“But when you’re in a high-altitude environment, that airway pressure goes up a lot.
So you get a lot more oxygen and less CO2.”
The mask is a combination of a polycarbonate and a fabric-like material that is soft and flexible enough for the wearer to bend and compress it to the shape of their head.
“The mask has a very soft and stretchy fabric,” Dr Zalmann said.”[This material] makes the head more stable.
It’s actually like a sponge.”
It also has some elasticity, which helps it to hold the wearer’s head in place.
“The material is made from polyethylenimine, a polymer with a soft, flexible texture.
It can be manufactured from a range of materials and can be used in any combination of three types of materials: plastic, rubber and a combination made from carbon nanotubes and titanium dioxide.
A second version of the mask, called a microfluidic mask, is also available for use in hospitals.
But there are limitations to the technology.
While the masks can help people breathe in oxygen through their noses, they can’t help people keep their head above the ground or their eyes closed.
Dr Zalmans said the mask could be used for people in hospitals that are too cold for masks.
The company has developed a helmet for the military which it has tested in military hospitals.
The new masks will be sold to hospitals and other medical facilities through a clinical trial programme, which will be open to people with pulmonary conditions.
Dr Schmidt said it would take some time to assess the impact of the technology on people with lung conditions, but added that the company was confident the technology would help people.”
We’re looking forward to continuing to be able to provide the masks to hospitals across the US and beyond,” he wrote.
A study by Google and the US Army found that about 25 percent of people with severe respiratory problems who wore the masks had died.
It was also found that the masks did not increase people’s chances of dying in an accident or in a car accident.
But the US army’s medical director of the Army Respiratory Support Program, Robert Kavanagh, said the technology could help improve the health of people who were in extreme conditions, such as mountain climbers and mountaineers.”
There are some people who suffer from altitude sickness and it is a real challenge for them to get up there and take their breaths,” he told CNN.”
They do have some advantages that we do not have.
“This technology has a lot to offer.”
The US Air Forces Research Laboratory in Arlington, Virginia, also used the technology to study the effect of breathing in CO2 on the body.
“At this time, we have not found a single death or adverse effect in people who wore our mask,” Dr Kavanah said.