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Dec 04, 2015 —

Hospital-acquired infections (HAI) results in over 3,000 deaths annually and costs for DKK 1.2 billion for the Danish healthcare system.

UV-Sterilizer-Robot, source: Blue Ocean Robotics

Odense, Denmark - 7 July 2015

Because of this, the Danish Market Development Fund and a partnership of Danish hospitals (Sygehuspartnerskabet) have entered a 2-year co-development project with Blue Ocean Robotics with the purpose of developing and testing a disinfection robot for hospitals.

UV-Sterilizer-Robot uses an innovative UVC-light technology to break down bacteria on surfaces. In particular, the robot should contribute to reducing the spread of infections in patient rooms and adjacent bathrooms, as hospital-acquired infections (HAI) are a major and growing problem for the healthcare system - and give rise to significant costs for hospitals, partly because of extra days in bed, readmissions, deaths, etc.

UV-Sterilizer-Robot has an autonomous driving system, allowing it to position itself so that the bacteria degrading UVC light focuses on specific “infection hotspots” such as sinks, patient bed, handles etc. The robot concept was developed with the ambition of a user-friendly and flexible disinfection tool for the healthcare sector. The robot requires virtually no human interaction and therefore have a minimal impact on the workflow of the hospital staff.

The development project originated as part of the PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement) tender, which the Danish Market Development Fund (Markedsmodningsfonden) and a partnership of Danish hospitals (Sygehuspartnerskabet) offered in August 2014 regarding development of innovative solutions to reduce the spread of infections in patient rooms. In the first phase of the development work, the Department of Clinical Microbiology, by Hans Jørn Kolmos, Cleaning & Patient Services, by Carsten Holmer, and Department of Clinical Microbiology, Jens Otto Jarløv, respectively from Odense University Hospital and Herlev Hospital have actively participated.

“The robot will save lives! UV-Sterilizer-Robot is to improve and simplify the way we currently disinfect patient rooms. And by letting the robot support the cleaning, we aim to reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections, sick leave and - not least - the number of deaths as a result of infections acquired during hospitalization. OUH and Clinical Microbiology department by Hans Jørn Kolmos has all along participated in and supported the development process of UV-Sterilizer-Robot, and will continue to assist Blue Ocean Robotics and Sygehuspartnerskabet with clinical expertise.” Peder Jest, Director at Odense University Hospital

“UV-Sterilizer-Robot is a good example of the potential that new robot technologies give rise for, in combination with already known technologies in regards to solving challenging problems.”
“The robot has the potential to provide a positive operational economy (short payback time) if a hospital purchases 5 units of UV-Sterilizer-Robots after only 4-5 months.”
“UV-Sterilizer-Robot has a national and international commercial potential in the healthcare sector - and we expect to be able to disseminate and commercialize the solution immediately after project completion.” Rune K. Larsen, Partner & Director at Blue Ocean Robotics

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