UV-C Integrated Infection Control System
Name your device and explain how it works?
The UV-C Integrated Infection Control System incorporates short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light emanating from the interior of a device for effective 360-degree sterilization. The system can be controlled remotely to limit exposure and maintain sterilization records for all devices. In the context of a hospital bed, the UV-C integrated polymer frame is coated with an antimicrobial, super hydrophobic polyurethane coating, which reduces the bacterial adhesion, promotes rapid beading of water on the bed frame, and makes cleaning easier for hospital staff. The super hydrophobic coating itself also mitigates plastic delamination, which commonly results from repeated UV-C treatments. In addition, the coating can be applied to UV-C emitting fiber optic woven materials for soft goods applications, such as mattresses, pillows and curtain dividers. This integration allows UV-C light to permeate even the most difficult to reach places with complex surface geometries.
ï¿¼What problem in healthcare does the device solve?
Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) account for 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths in the U.S. annually, with an estimated cost of $35.7 to $45 billion each year. Current UV-C radiation devices are bulb-based and only sterilize surfaces light can reach, which leaves shadowed areas unsterilized. Embedding the UV-C lights within the device inherently sterilizes all surfaces, including those nearby.
Proper disinfection requires strict cleaning protocols and the assumption hospital staff will ensure all surfaces, corners, grooves, seams and other hard-to-clean areas are cleaned. This system augments the users by limiting the impact of human error in the sterilization process.
ï¿¼Why should the device be commercialized?
HAI’s are detrimental—and sometimes deadly—to patients who acquire them. In addition, they are an unnecessary burden on the healthcare system, adding an average of 3.3 additional days and $10,375 of costs. The UV-C Integrated Infection Control System will dramatically reduce the total number of infections and increase the effectiveness of the hospital cleaning protocols, ultimately saving patients’ lives and millions of dollars of additional care.
ï¿¼What inspired you to design this device?
We were inspired by the belief that in modern times, no one who enters a hospital should be at risk of acquiring an infection. We believe by leveraging technology to augment human performance, we are able to improve the sterilization process and enable better outcomes for patients and healthcare providers.
Battelle Human Centric Design Team