Robotics

Robots to Disinfect Hospital Rooms

11 January 2017

A research team led by Keith S. Kaye, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research in the Michigan Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, will put germ-zapping robots to the test at Detroit hospitals.

The $2 million effort, supported by the National Institute of Health's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is one of the first of its kind to study no-touch room disinfection.

A Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot pulses germicidal ultraviolet light to combat hospital-acquired infections.A Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot pulses germicidal ultraviolet light to combat hospital-acquired infections.Michigan researchers will look at the ability of high-intensity ultraviolet light delivered by Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots to protect patients from superbugs such as Clostridium difficile.

Patients across the country are vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections that they can contract while staying at a medical facility. Progress has been made in preventing some infection types, but infections continue to be a threat.

Kaye will work with colleagues at Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center to conduct the study in two hospitals covering 16 total hospital units.

At the end of two years, researchers will report on rates of hospital-acquired infections in units where pulsed xenon UV light (PX-UV) was added to cleaning routines compared to units where a sham UV disinfection system was added to standard cleaning.

The researchers will measure if cleaning plus PX-UV reduced the number of infections from drug-resistant organisms that cause C.diff, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Klebsiella pneumonia, Escherichiae coli producing extended-spectrum betalactamases (ESBLs), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Acinetobacter baumannii.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@ieeeglobalspec.com


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