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Healthcare Technology: Future Tense

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, August 18, 2010
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Technology: Pulsed UV Disinfection System

Manufacturer/Developer: Xenex Healthcare Services LLC,
Austin, TX

Purpose: Ridding patient rooms of superbugs, such as MRSA, that cause hospital-acquired infections

How it works: The disinfection system uses pulse technology to deliver high-intensity, broad-spectrum ultraviolet light to quickly kill microorganisms on surfaces and in the air without contact or chemicals.The UV penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, essentially fusing their DNA, leading to instant damage, the inability to reproduce or mutate, and killing the organism.

Evidence: The system was made commercially available in June 2010 after trials at a leading U.S. cancer center and in independent labs in the United States and abroad. Test results found it to be 20 times more effective than standard cleaning practices and more than 99.9% effective in eliminating all major types of deadly bacteria and pathogens.

Potential improvement: Capable of disinfecting a hospital room in less than nine minutes. The system is also safer and less expensive, according to the company.

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