Local Arizona Company Creates Disinfecting Robot to Kill C-diff and Other HAIs
By Megan Wahl -
Tuesday Nov 10, 2020
Nevoa Inc., a company based in Gilbert, Ariz. that engineers disinfecting solutions for the healthcare industry, has created a highly effective disinfection technology for hospital and healthcare patient rooms that is greater than 99.99% effective at killing pathogens that cause Healthcare-acquired Infections (HAIs), including C. diff., MRSA, and Influenza A (H1N1), as well as SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.
With multiple health threats like COVID-19 still looming and flu season ramping up, people are concerned about their safety when seeking serious medical attention. Some individuals even avoid going to a hospital for fear of picking up a serious HAI. HAIs can be a secondary infection picked up in a healthcare facility, typically while being treated for something else. They complicate an existing condition and can sometimes result in a patientâ€™s death.
One such HAI is Clostridium difficile, or C. diff. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the United States C. diff causes approximately 500,000 illnesses each year, affecting people of all ages. One in 11 patients over age 65 die within one month of contracting C. diff.
Ernest Cunningham, president of Nevoa Inc., said, â€œNovember is recognized as C. diff Awareness Month and brings much-needed attention to the seriousness of C. diff as well as the many other deadly HAIs commonly contracted in hospitals and healthcare facilities.â€ He added, â€œIt is the driving force behind why we developed our disinfecting robot, Nimbus.â€
C. diff infection occurs when bacteria are contracted by touching contaminated surfaces, or transmitted when an infected person who hasnâ€™t thoroughly washed their hands touches something or someone. It can also develop from the over-use of prescribed antibiotics. Normal, healthy bacteria of the colon is disrupted, causing inflammation and severe diarrhea. If contracted, C. diff can cause severe harm and could be fatal.
In November of 2019, the CDC developed a goal to reduce C. diff infections by 30%. This included promoting guidelines for disinfection to help reduce the infection rate and using improved methods of environmental cleaning.
What is being done about C. diff and other deadly HAIs in hospitals?
The healthcare industry has recognized the necessity and urgency to upgrade age-old cleaning protocols using hands-on manual cleaning and disinfecting. Not only do these cleaning methods put both patients and staff at a higher risk of contracting an infection, they also perpetuate the possibility of human error, transferring deadly pathogens to high-touch areas in a patient room. At the CDCâ€™s direction, Infection Preventionists have sought new ways to disinfect hospital rooms to ensure that patients, staff, and visitors are safe.
One new technology-based solution is Nimbus, a robot that uses a proprietary fogging system to disinfect the whole patient room at once. When used in conjunction with Nevoaâ€™s EPA-Registered, hospital-grade disinfectant, Nimbus not only kills C. diff, but also other deadly pathogens that cause infections such as staph, pneumonia, MRSA, Influenza A, and COVID-19.
â€œIn an unoccupied, closed patient room, Nimbus atomizes, or fogs, the disinfectant solution, coating all surfaces, including the back sides of equipment and under the bed,â€ said Cunningham. â€œNimbus then uses a patented dehumidification process to remove the solution from the air and surfaces. This 30-minute disinfection process allows for immediate room re-entry which, in turn, allows hospitals to quickly admit new patients into a room safely and efficiently.â€
A study by the University of Arizona proved that a modified manual cleaning process combined with disinfection by Nimbus is greater than 99.99% effective at killing pathogens.
Cunningham said, â€œWith cutting-edge disinfection technologies such as Nimbus designed with patient safety in mind, hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country now have the capability to eliminate deadly pathogens causing Healthcare-acquired Infections and make it safer for people to get the treatment they need.â€