On Friday, Daniel Zeichner MP, met with Cambridge startup eScent and tried out their face mask. It uses an innovative scent delivery system to induce positive wellbeing experiences for the wearer.

The wearing of facemasks has aggravated the welfare of individuals throughout the pandemic. According to the mental health charity, Mind, some people find wearing a mask difficult to cope with for several reasons, including the triggering of breathing problems and, in some cases, traumatic events. The pandemic has additionally witnessed a sharp rise in NHS staff experiencing symptoms of mental ill-health. According to a BMA Survey of 7,000 doctors, 44% said they were suffering from mental health conditions made worse by their work.

eScent has therefore developed its first application – a re-usable enhanced FFP3 facemask offering “personal protective assurance” – a personalised and renewable scent to improve wellbeing and performance. The organisation believes the technology could reduce mental ill-health among NHS staff, and the population at large.

Mr Zeichner met with eScent founder Jenny Tillotson and colleagues, including their NHS advisors and discussed the technology and its applications within healthcare and beyond before trying out the mask for himself. He said: “at a time where the number of working days lost in the NHS due to mental health-related absences is at an all-time high, innovations like these give us a real opportunity to help protect the most precious commodity we possess, the health and wellbeing of our frontline workers”. 

Dr Jenny Tillotson, founder of eScent, added: “I am delighted to be demonstrating our prototype FFP3 facemask to Daniel Zeichner MP. Daniel has been a huge supporter of the NHS and a vocal speaker on the climate emergency, and our transformative technology aligns with both of these issues providing front line workers with a self-administered scent delivery system to help reduce mental distress, whilst eliminating the need for single-use PPE on the planet”.

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