Robots using different technologies are being deployed on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19. Among these robots, disinfection robots are of particular interest. A division of Siemens has produced one such robot in just a week.
Models using hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) and ultraviolet (UV) light are moving through hospitals, health centers, government buildings, and public centers across the globe in a bid to disinfect surfaces. The use of automated air disinfection machines not only reduces human exposure to the virus but is also proving to be more rigorous and effective in decontaminating spaces. Some of the robots incorporate bulbs that emit concentrated ultraviolet-C (UVC) light.
Danish company UVD Robots is manufacturing robots that are able to disinfect patients and operating rooms in hospitals thanks to powerful short-wavelength UVC lights that emit enough energy to eradicate the DNA or RNA of any microorganisms that are exposed to them. US-based Xenex also counts on UVC light to annihilate the virus on “high touch” hard surfaces, such as bed rails, trays and call buttons. Melinda Hart, media relations director at Xenex, explained that the radiation damages the structure of genetic material and prevents particles from making more copies of themselves:
“UV light has been used in this area for a long time and there are dozens of technologies out there that use mercury bulbs to emit a continuous stream of UV light. What makes our LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots so different is that they use a pulsing Xenon lamp not a mercury bulb.This emits intense flashes of germicidal light, which are able to deactivate a pathogen very quickly so it can’t reproduce and mutate.”
The LightStrike robots, which are now being used in Europe, Asia, and the US, can disinfect a hospital room in 20 minutes and have been proven to reduce the spread of bacterium and bugs such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and C. diff (Clostridium difficile).
“Covid-19 is not yet available in a commercial lab for testing but we have tested against Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and other surrogate viruses. Our robots were able to deactivate those quickly, so we are quite confident that they are destroying Covid-19.”
An Intelligent Solution
At Siemens Corporate Technology China, the Advanced Manufacturing Automation (AMA), which has a focus on special and industrial robots, unmanned vehicles and intelligent equipment for robotic applications, also moved quickly to help tackle the spread of the virus. The laboratory produced an intelligent disinfectant robot in just one week, explained Yu Qi, head of its research group. Its model, which is powered by a lithium battery, distributes a mist to neutralize Covid-19 and can disinfect 20,000 to 36,000 square meters in one hour.
For Yu Qi, many disinfection machines available on the market combine a petrol-driven mistorizer gun with an electric chassis. However, on-site refueling is neither clean nor convenient, so the team decided to develop purely electric robots.
“An omni-directional camera platform on the top transmits videos and information in real time, enabling the operator to remotely locate affected areas and control the sterilizing. Considering the multi-scene adaptation, the disinfectant robot project designed a caterpillar chassis which has the ability of 35-degree slope climbing and 160mm-height-of-obstacle crossing. It means the robot can be widely used in hospitals, bus stations, metro stations, manufacturing factories and canteens etc.”
Melinda Hart, from Xenex, explained robots are now also being used in pods to disinfect mobile and high-touch complex equipment, such as ventilators and scanners. Equipment can be wheeled in and the LightStrike will be effective on anything within the pod.
“Our robots and pods are being used to disinfect masks where there are shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). They can disinfect hundreds of masks in one day, which can make a real difference.”
YOUR HOME IS now your workplace, playground, meditation studio, dine-in restaurant, neighborhood bar, refuge, and movie theater. The point being, you're spending a lot of time in it. You may as well prevent the air inside from making you sick. Indoor air is dirty. Particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, and vaporous chemicals seep in through our ventilation systems and the weatherstripping around windows. Indoor plastics, furniture, paint, and also flooring off-gas noxious fumes. An air sterilizer won't do much good if you're not vacuuming regularly and changing the filters in your home's HVAC system, but if you live where there's a lot of pollution or wildfires, it could help a lot.
Whether it is the eradication of biofilm or treating wounds in locations not conducive to sharp debridement, ultrasonic debridement can be a key tool for promoting improved wound healing.The surgical debridement of nonviable tissue is essential in the wound care process. While sharp debridement with or without pulse lavage is the most common method, the use of an ultrasonic wound debridement machine is a more recent option that one should consider. Physicians originally developed ultrasonic debridement for dentistry in the 1950s and later adapted it for debulking soft tissue and dissecting bone.
Forget about the hassle of ice packs, cold therapy machines are the easiest, most effective way to apply for continuous relief from joint pain and swelling and inflammation. Whether you’re recovering from surgery, recovering from a workout, or simply seeking relief from a painful medical condition, a cold therapy machine can help speed your recovery and ease the pain.
Studies in the early 1970s suggested that wrapped sterilization trays remained sterile for varying periods depending on the type of material used to wrap the trays. Microorganisms were found to penetrate single-wrap muslin as early as three days, and double-wrap muslin and single-wrap two-way crepe paper in 21 to 28 days when stored on open shelves. Based on these studies, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (now Joint Commission of Healthcare Organizations) required that hospitals provide an expiration date on wrapped surgical trays, indicating a time when the trays would no longer be considered sterile. In a 1984 article, Mayworm criticized the scientific basis for dating sterile surgical trays. He noted that "time doesn't contaminate products, events do." He then listed the following factors, which contribute to the contamination of product: bioburden (contamination in the environment), air movement, traffic, location, temperature, humidity, and the barrier properties of the wrap material. He stressed that when the proper wrap materials along with appropriate sterilization techniques were used, surgical trays should remain sterile unless damaged. Subsequent studies demonstrated that the sterile integrity of surgical packs was maintained for at least one year and no trend was found toward increased probability of contamination over time. In this latter study, no differences were observed among the wrapping materials studied (i.e., two-ply reusable, nonbarrier wovens, both new and previously used; disposable, barrier nonwovens; and paper/plastic peel pouches). These studies were conducted under ideal circumstances. Sterility may be more difficult to maintain under actual use conditions where movement and storage conditions may damage wrap materials.
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