Robot disinfects hospital rooms with a touch of a button

By: March 4th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

Imagine if you could hit a button and have a patient room disinfected within 10 minutes? Thanks to Mark Stibich, a Texas-based epidemiologist, that concept has become a reality. Stibich co-founded Xenex Healthcare Services and developed a germ-fighting robot that uses UV light to kill viruses, bacteria, and spores.

More than 100 hospitals have purchased or rented the robots, and for good reason. Studies have found that the robot cuts bacterial contamination by a factor of 20 and kills more than 75% of the pathogen C. difficile. Stibich told BusinessWeek that he got the idea to sanitize hospital rooms with UV light several years ago while working in Russia, where he learned that a UV lamp was being used to kill airborne tuberculosis germs.

To use the robot, hospital housekeepers simply wheel it into the room, close the door, and use a remote to operate it. Each robot costs $125,000 or a monthly fee of $3,700. While it seems pricey, the average cost of a hospital-acquired infection can be close to $30,000, making the robot a worthwhile investment. Stibich notes that the robots can be used in staff areas as well as patient rooms, adding to their value in creating a safe hospital environment.

Comments

Can this be rented by the month, for only a month at a time. For smaller hospitals, we can do alot in a month.???

By Melinda Hart on March 7th, 2013 at 9:09 am

Yes — leasing is available. Contact enda.flynn@xenex.com

By Bruce Cunha on March 7th, 2013 at 11:57 am

Calling this a “robot” would seem to be a creative use of the word. Seems to be a stretch.

You might be careful about using the term “disinfect” as it relates to UV Light. Every article or science piece I have read on the subject says that, 3 Log is the maximum kill UV can achieve. “Disinfection”, as I recall, means 5 Log or 99.999 percent, according to the EPA, which governs disinfectant use.
Additionally there is another issue with UV light as I recall from the science pieces. Photo reactivation. Apparently the bacteria’s RNA(?) deactivated by UV light, reactivates upon being hit by sunlight and the bacteria regrows!!!!!!

 

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