Hospital robot kills 95% of pathogens in 5 minutes with UV light
Every year, 2 million Americans – at least 1 in 20 patients – contract a hospital infection. Of these, over 100,000 will die from their illness. This is more than breast cancer, AIDS/HIV and road fatalities combined and results in $30 billion of additional healthcare costs. One of the most dangerous pathogens, the highly resilient Clostridium difficile (C. diff), is able to survive for months on surfaces. With antibiotics, handwashing and traditional methods of disinfection proving to be increasingly ineffective, these "superbugs" have the potential to become a major crisis.
Thankfully, technology may come to the rescue once again, as a new machine has been developed that could revolutionise the hospital environment. Using pulses of ultraviolet (UV) light, a robot from Xenex Healthcare is 20 times more effective at eliminating bacteria than standard chemical cleaning. It can treat rooms in just five minutes, plus it has less environmental impact than discarded plastic containers and heavy use of disinfectants. A motion detection system and door guard ensures the safety of patients, visitors and staff.
Although expensive – at $82,000 each – a growing number of hospitals are now using this machine. The first to do so was Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Massachusetts, which has since witnessed an 82 percent drop in C. diff. infections. Last month, Stamford Hospital became the first and only hospital in Connecticut to use the device.