Design Engineering

McGill testing Canada’s first UV-Disinfection robot

Path-finding robot designed to reduce rates of hospital-acquired infections including COVID-19.

May 6, 2020   by DE Staff

UV-Disinfection robot currently being evaluated by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. (Photo credit: RI-MUHC)

The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) announced it is evaluating a UV-Disinfection robot in Canada. The robot is programmed to emit concentrated UV-C ultraviolet light, which is known to kill microorganisms on surfaces and in the air. According to the robot’s Danish manufacturer, UVD Robots, the robot helps prevent and reduce the spread of infectious diseases, vira, bacteria, and other types of harmful organic microorganisms by breaking down their DNA-structure.

“It is not new to disinfect with UV-C, but the combination of ultraviolet light and robotics makes this technology very interesting,” explained Rami Tohme, Director of Infrastructure and Biomedical Engineering at the RI-MUHC. “The UV-Disinfection robot can autonomously drive around and position itself optimally in a relation to infection hotspots in any hospital setup. It can apparently achieve a higher disinfection efficiency in less time compared to existing solutions. It’s definitely worth evaluating.”

The Montreal-based biomedical and healthcare research centre says the technology assessment will determine the potential value of the UVD robot technology compared to existing technologies using safety, efficacy and effectiveness criteria. It will also include a user interface and automation test to assess the mapping function, path planning and the autonomous capabilities of the robot at the MUHC Glen site.

According the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, about 8,000 Canadians die from hospital-acquired infections each year; 220,000 others get infected. Healthcare-associated infections also result in significant extra costs for hospitals due to additional days of hospitalization and readmissions. Now, with the novel coronavirus situation, there is an increased interest in this technology.


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1 Comment » for McGill testing Canada’s first UV-Disinfection robot
  1. Steve Keating says:

    A giant leap forward, to be sure. However, it does not address the most common means of virus transmission in medical clinics: documentation. A virus can survive 24 hours on a bare paper or wood-fibre surface (72 hours if that surface is laminated with polymer); how many physicians, nurses, support staff, patients, and visitors have to handle the paperwork? of those, how many can turn the pages without licking a finger??

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