Scientist invents ‘robot’ that kills Ebola virus

on   /   in Health, News 6:20 am   /   Comments

By Sola Ogundipe

RECENTLY, in effort to eliminate Ebola at the source, through use of innovative disinfection technology, two “germ-killing robots”  were deployed from the US to the JFK Hospital and ELWA Hospital both in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia, both hotspots of the Ebola disease outbreak.

The robots, technically known as TRU-D SmartUVC, were used to disinfect health care environments where Ebola patients are being treated. Good Health Weekly gathered that TRU-D is the only portable UV disinfection device on the market with Sensor360 technology, which calculates the time needed to react to room variables such as size, geometry, surface reflectivity and the amount and location of equipment in the room and effectively deliver a lethal dose of UV-C light during a single cycle from a single, central location in the room.

Ultraviolet light
“It works by generating ultraviolet light energy that modifies the DNA structure of viral pathogens, like Ebola, so that they cannot reproduce. Viruses that cannot reproduce cannot colonise and harm patients,” the inventor, a tropical disease expert and medical anthropologist Dr. Jeffery L. Deal noted in an interview.

Deal and his colleague, Chuck Dunn, President and CEO of TRU-D LLC, respectively, spoke about the importance of TRU-D to environmental disinfection in

“TRU-D has been validated by more than 10 studies to be 99.99 percent effective in eliminating the most common pathogens that can use health care-associated infections.

After deploying germ-killing robots to Liberia to aid in battle against the Ebola Virus Disease, TRU-D SmartUVC inventor traveled to the Ebola hotspots with UV disinfection devices

TRU-D guarantees a pathogen-free environment for patients and health care staff. Deal,  a Fellow in the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, has been training hospital staff to operate the devices in a number of hospital environments and monitor progress for successful disinfection.

• TRU-D SmartUVC  ultraviolet disinfection device on display

• TRU-D SmartUVC ultraviolet disinfection device on display

“We developed TRU-D SmartUVC technology to combat the devastating effects ofhospital acquired infections,” Deal said.

“Unlike many diseases, Ebola strikes hospital workers more than any other group, making it the ultimate hospital acquired infection.”

With TRU-D, health care leaders in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Saudi Arabia are eliminating pathogens like Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS, influenza, norovirus, Clostridium difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, etc., in all types of health care settings, including isolation wards, patient rooms, operating rooms, surgical suites, intensive care units, emergency rooms, public areas and ambulances.

“We know through extensive CDC-funded research specific to TRU-D conducted by thought leaders in epidemiology and infection prevention that TRU-D is effective at eliminating anypathogen by delivering a precisely measured UVC dose.

“As soon as we knew we could aid struggling hospitals in Liberia, our team came together and formulated a plan to get TRU-D on the ground. More than 200 TRU-Ds have been deployed to disinfect hospitals across the U.S. and internationally.

Significance
Between 10 and 15 percent of Ebola cases have been among health care workers. While most of this stems from contact with the patient, concerns exist that the physical environment can retain active microbes and be a risk. This device is used in the US to eliminate the organisms that may still reside on the walls, knobs, rails or any other exposed surface in health care settings. The robotic technology is capable of making the Liberian hospitals safer for the staff and for new patients.

Development
It was developed by a team of engineers, physicians and industrial hygienists with the purpose of decontaminating entire rooms automatically and eliminating concerns that a contaminated surface was missed during routine cleaning.
We use an ultra-efficient narrow wavelength called UVC to flood the room with germicidal energy. UVC dosage is accurately measured and automatically adapts to kill organisms, even in shadowed areas.

UV disinfection technology and EVD control
This technology is designed to prevent the spread of the disease transmitted via contaminated surfaces in health care environments and is not a treatment or a cure. We believe that prevention is the best medicine.

The U.S. Army tested this particular wavelength against Ebola and found that the measured dose TRU-D delivers results in incredibly rapid destruction of the virus with its pathogen-specific dosing options.. We know it is perfect for use in this critical setting.

Merits/demerits
Multiple studies have already been published from U.S. and UK academic facilities of TRU-D’s ability to decontaminate rooms, almost always testing it against organisms that are much more difficult to kill in the environment than Ebola is.

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