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A Better Way to Keep Feet Clean in Healthcare Settings?

Circuit Solutions used MD&M Minneapolis to tout a new device to keep feet from tracking grime into healthcare settings. 

Chris Newmarker

Circuit Solutoins VortexWhile there has been significant progress preventing some types of infections, about one in 25 U.S. hospital patients still suffer at least one healthcare-acquired infection on any given today, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Circuit Solutions (Minnetonka, MN) used MD&M Minneapolis to roll out its Vortex Air WalkMat, with technology licensed from an undisclosed source outside the United States. 

Todd Werner, Circuit Solutions's president, thinks the Vortex will sweep away the sticky mats that are often used in healthcare and cleanroom settings. Healthcare-acquired infections are such an issue that Circuit Solutions and the Vortex won a spot as a finalist for the MD&M Minneapolis Innovation Prize

Registering the weight of arriving individuals or equipment, retractable balls on the surface of the mat activate a vacuum to remove particles, hair, and debris. The device is set up so that the vacuum only sucks air around the feet. It works on high heels. It works when carts are rolled over it. (Don't spring to buy one of these to put behind your front door, though: The price tag runs into the thousands of dollars.) 
Some health providers set the vacuum mat next to a sticky mat, and the vacuum still picked up hair, which doesn't stick well to the mats because it is is covered with oil. "Would you want a ball of hair getting into your operating room?" Werner said. 
Here is Werner describing the Vortex at Booth #1340 at the show:

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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