Friday, June 25, 2010

Emerging technologies in infection control

Infection Control Today published an article detailing several emerging HAI prevention technologies this week. All were interesting, but a few really stood out to me:

1. HandGiene - This company developed an automated hand hygiene technology that uses RFID, wireless, web-based data collection and reporting software to provide real-time monitoring for handwashing activities of healthcare personnel. Given that many believe that more than 50% of all HAIs could be eliminated by handwashing, HandGiene has great potential to help hospitals reduce HAIs through higher hand hygiene compliance rates.

2. Activeion - Activeion's flagship product, the Ionator, uses a process called "irreversible electroporation" to kill germs and bacteria in tap water. The process does not require the use of chemicals and therefore is very environmentally friendly. The company has a cool video that shows how the process works.

3. Agion - I came across this company a couple of years ago. The company makes disinfectants using silver. One of their products, AgionSilverClene24, provides an attractive alternative to traditional surface disinfectants because it keeps surfaces clean longer and is effective against tougher bugs such as MRSA, VRE, HIV, and Influenza.

Finally, I attended the MIT 100K Business Plan Competition Final last month and this year's second place winner is a company called Novophage. They have engineered a bacteriophage that slows the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and thereby delays the onset of antibiotic resistance. The bacteriophages could be used in conjunction with traditional antibiotics to improve efficacy.

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