As businesses, hospitals, schools, and other public venues look to reopen in the wake of the novel coronavirus, many are turning to disinfection robots. Several such robots use ultraviolet light, but Nevoa Life Sciences Holdings Inc. this week announced Nimbus, a system that it claimed takes a different approach to kill more of pathogens that cause healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs.
“The CDC [Centers for Disease Control] estimates that 100,000 people die each year from HAIs,” stated Ernest Cunningham, president of Nevoa. “To re-establish confidence in their patients and staff, hospitals must show they are taking every step possible to disinfect rooms after each patient’s discharge and before a new patient is admitted. We designed Nimbus specifically to kill the pathogens causing healthcare-acquired illnesses and help save more lives.”
Tempe, Ariz.-based Nevoa said its mission “is to transform the healthcare industry’s decades-old disinfection and cleaning protocols to highly effective, automated protocols that work smarter.” The company, which was founded in 2009 and raised $2.8 million in June 2019, added that it “prides itself on engineering the most fiscally, socially, and environmentally responsible disinfecting solutions for the healthcare industry, creating true, pathogen-free facilities.”
How the Nimbus + Microburst robot works
Nevoa said it developed the Nimbus robot specifically for patient rooms. The company said it wanted to respond to the challenges that healthcare facilities face during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to other causes of HAIs, including C. diff. (Clostridium difficile colitis), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and Influenza A (H1N1).
Nimbus + Microburst uses a hospital-grade disinfection solution registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ts active ingredient is Hypochlorous acid (HOCl). The Nimbus robot plus Microburst solution can disinfect an entire hospital room, from ceiling to floor, in about 30 minutes, said Nevoa. The system is placed in the room, vents are covered, and door frames are sealed.
The automated system uses an atomizing or fogging system to coat surfaces and can be operated by a tablet from outside a hospital room, according to the company. It can guide an environmental services (EVS) worker through the cleaning process step by step, which Nevoa said can eliminate the pathogen transfer often associated with manual cleaning.
After the cleaning cycle is compete, Nimbus uses filtration and dehumidification technology to remove the solution from the air and any extra solution on the room’s hard surfaces, allowing for immediate room re-entry, said Nevoa. Unlike other disinfection robots that use ultraviolet (UV) radiation, Nimbus + Microburst’s whole-room fogging eliminates shadowing effects where pathogens can hide, and it leaves no unpleasant odors behind, said Nevoa.
Nimbus already in use
The company said its technology is already being used in U.S. hospitals and healthcare facilities and is changing how they disinfect patient rooms. It claimed that the Nimbus + Microburst disinfection cycle is one of the fastest and most effective technologies currently available to healthcare facilities.
At one installation, West Tennessee Healthcare, an executive explained that prior to using Nimbus + Microburst, the EVS Team would clean each room manually, spending an hour or more to disinfect only one room. “Nimbus disinfection is working so well that we’re implementing it in our other hospitals, because this no-touch system is proving to be a safer, easier and more effective method of disinfecting,” he stated.
A study by the University of Arizona proved that Nevoa’s disinfection system, combined with modified manual room cleaning, was 300 times more effective at whole-room disinfection than manual cleaning alone. The technology was proven to be greater than 99.99% effective at killing bacteria and viruses, reducing hospital costs and improving the overall patient experience.
“We want staff and patients to concentrate on the healing process without worrying about contracting additional illnesses at the hospital,” said Cunnnigham. “The highly effective disinfection technology of Nimbus + Microburst makes it safe to go to hospitals again.”