The future is now. The Research Institute of Montreal's MUHC hospital has unveiled its first-ever UV-disinfection medical robot. Despite its slightly menacing appearance, the fully-autonomous robot has an important job, destroying airborne and surface microorganisms. It could "potentially reduce healthcare-associated infections and their consequences."
“We ordered this robot as the COVID-19 pandemic was emerging in China and Europe, with the objective to be first to evaluate this technology in Canada," said Dr. Bruce Mazer, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer of the RI-MUHC, in a statement.
"An automated system can potentially improve patient safety, as well as protect hospital personnel."
This type of UV technology has been "gaining popularity" ever since the pandemic began, the statement explains. It works by emitting a concentrated dose of UV-C ultraviolet light in "infectious hotspots."
Disease contraction from a hospital visit is unfortunately common, data from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute shows.
It reports that "8,000 Canadians die from hospital-acquired infections each year; 220,000 others get infected."
According to the robot's inventors, the machine will potentially "prevent and reduce the spread of infectious diseases, viruses, bacteria, and other types of harmful organic microorganisms in the environment by breaking down their DNA-structure."
"It is not new to disinfect with UV-C, but the combination of ultraviolet light and robotics makes this technology very interesting," said Rami Tohme, Director of Infrastructure and Biomedical Engineering at the RI-MUHC
"It can apparently achieve a higher disinfection efficiency in less time compared to existing solutions."
The robot arrived at the MUHC on April 27 and is the first of its kind in Canada.
"It will be tested in one patient room and one operating room at the RI-MUHC Centre for Innovative Medicine at the Glen site," according to Dr. Mazer.
"We will also take this opportunity to assess if it can be used to disinfect stretchers and N-95 masks.”
“In addition to caring for patients who come in with trauma, we will be caring for patients who are COVID-19 positi… https://t.co/GcGSeqUY9A— Centre universitaire de santé McGill (@Centre universitaire de santé McGill) 1585678563.0
This kind of technology will be implemented in 40 hospitals around the world, helping to reduce the risks of hospital visit-related infections.
REMINDER: #masks are not the best protection against #COVID19. - Cough into your elbow - Throw away your tissues -… https://t.co/bYGTo65oC4— Centre universitaire de santé McGill (@Centre universitaire de santé McGill) 1588111209.0
After an initial evaluation, the UV robot could soon be seen in a hospital room near you.