Germ-Zapping Keyboard – for use in Hospitals to help prevent the spread of MRSA, C Diff, and other bacterial infections
Posted Mar 26 2009 3:53pm
This is a start up company that hopes to bring this product to market this year. The report stated this was the easiest fund raiser he has ever experienced and when you see the product, it’s a no brainer.
The user can push a button to have the keyboard retract, and that motion exposes the keyboard to the lamp that will disinfect the keyboard for the next user. Also, after a period of no activity, the device will auto clean as well and the cleaning cycle can be interrupted at any time if access is needed immediately. Hopefully the item will be in the affordable price range as this looks to have huge potential in preventing infection spread throughout the hospital, and for that matter in a larger medical practice where many are sharing computers and keyboard. Recently I posted about a vacuum cleaner from Oreck that was using a similar technology to disinfect with lamp technologies. Recently there was the doctor who also discovered that taking the paper gown and stuffing it into his glove was also contributing toward the spread of MRSA, and then of course there’s the most important item of just washing our hands.
There’s nose spray too that can kill MRSA as one in every 20 individuals in a hospital according to a recent study carries MRSA. Johnson and Johnson is also waiting for their new drug that can fight MRSA to be approved by the FDA. With MRSA and C Diff there’s a lot of research and new technology in the works and some of it available today to help eliminate the further spread of hospital acquired infections. The related reading below has several links on prior posts relative to both MRSA and C Diff. In my opinion, the keyboard appears to be a real winner in the fight against infections at the hospitals. BD
How the Vioguard keyboard works: (from the website)
Vioguard's system safely floods the keyboard and pointing device with a powerful germicidal UV lamp, eliminating the need for manual disinfection. An infrared proximity sensor activates a motorized drawer, which presents a disinfected keyboard to the user.
Once the user is finished, they can activate the disinfection cycle by pressing a button on the keyboard drawer - or, after a predetermined period of inactivity, the system will automatically initiate a disinfection cycle. LED indicators are used to let the user know when the keyboard is ready for use. The disinfection cycle can be interrupted anytime to ensure the device is available as needed.
The concept is simple: a computer keyboard that self-sanitizes by zapping potentially deadly germs with ultraviolet light. The technology could help prevent the spread of nasty bacterial invaders like MRSA in hospitals and other institutions with shared computer facilities. That’s the idea behind Vioguard, a Bothell, WA, company co-founded by startup specialist Larry Ranta and his nephew, Craig Ranta, a former hardware engineering director at Microsoft. Larry is Vioguard’s president and CEO, while Craig is the chief technology officer.
He seems to have hit on something big with Vioguard. Hospitals are especially motivated to rid their environments of deadly bacteria like MRSA and “C. Diff,” which are seeing fast-growing incidence. About 30 to 40 cases of C. Diff bacteria—which causes horrible and sometimes fatal cases of diarrhea—were reported per 100,000 people discharged from hospitals in 2001, and that figure tripled to about 100 cases per 100,000 discharges in 2005, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Data is elusive on these kinds of bugs, because hospitals hate to admit any guilt and invite legal liability, but this is undoubtedly a growth market. (Pfizer’s anti-MRSA antibiotic, linezolid ( Zyvox ), topped $1 billion in worldwide sales last year.)