The Emergence of Bacteria-killing Robots

29 June 2018

A top concern of just about any health care environment is likely to be cleanliness. Yet despite stringent efforts to sanitize these locations making them safe for patients, traditional cleaning methods aren’t effective enough. In fact, it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that roughly one in 25 patients will contract at least one infection associated with health care each day.

As such, there is a growing trend of health care facilities employing UV-disinfection robots that manage to sanitize hospital rooms (and other such locations) in a matter of minutes, doing their part to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAI) using UV light.

UV light damages the DNA located in the cells of an organism, thereby de-activating the function of each cell — a process that has proven more effective at killing microorganisms than traditional cleaning methods that employ chemicals.

Describing their own bacteria-killing robot as the strongest on the market, Infection Prevention Technologies — maker of one such robot called the iPT 3200 — claims that their UV robots are capable of sanitizing entire rooms, paying particular attention to shadow areas and door handles that happen to be havens for harmful bacteria, in just under five minutes.

“A 6-month, hospital-wide study showed a 34 percent drop in the incidence of healthcare-associated infections with the use of the IPT 3200 UV robot and specially trained disinfection teams.” iPT claimed.

Though still new to the market, experts believe that the robots will soon be appearing in greater numbers in not just hospitals but also in long-term care facilities, as well as being used to clean EMS vehicles and medicopters.

“One of the problems facing our healthcare system is hospital-associated infections,” says Nicholas Fitzkee, an independent scientist of the paper. Infections cost “thousands of lives and billions of dollars annually”, he adds.

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