Interview with Renato Mutton, Marketing & Business Development Manager, 99 Technologies S.A.
Healthcare settings require sharp weapons to fight both hospital-acquired infections and pathogens like SARS-CoV-2. Besides protective equipment, regular room disinfection is one of them. But they require time and are also prone to error if done manually. Fully automated solutions are needed to relief hospital staff from this exhausting work and perform it reliably. So, why not fog the room?
In the interview with MEDICA-tradefair.com, Renato Mutton from 99Technologies S.A. talks about the aerosol-based disinfection of rooms and surfaces and explains how it works and how it fares against the novel coronavirus.
Mr. Mutton, we are talking about the disinfection technology called "HyperDRYMist" from your company. Could you please shortly explain how it works?
Renato Mutton: The technology consists of two components: a device we call the Micro-Nebulizer and a disinfectant solution. Through the device, the solution is transformed into an extremely fine mist. In fact, 75 percent of the droplets which make up the mist are smaller than 0.5 micrometer, it is a high-quality aerosol. Thus, in relation to a number of physical properties, this mist behaves like a gas. It is able to evenly cover all surfaces that are exposed to air, even those that are further away and difficult to reach. This way, we achieve a disinfection that is simply not achievable via the standard manual disinfection.
What would be a typical scenario to use this device?
Mutton: It was created for use in healthcare settings, to prevent healthcare associated infections. This is a tool which complements regular cleaning and disinfection. But basically, it can be used everywhere, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. It can be used in every location where people need to be in a safe place and where surfaces need to be disinfected with high accuracy – from hotels to gathering places, offices, or transportation.
How much time does the process take?
Mutton: This depends on the type and quantity of pathogens on the surfaces. A preventive treatment routinely used in healthcare settings takes about 30 minutes. We have also come up with a protocol against the coronavirus that takes about an hour. Furthermore, we have a high-disinfection protocols that generate 6-log reductions – meaning that we are able to bring one million CFU (Colony Formation Units) to less than one.
This is one of the beauties of the system: We are already highly efficient at low dosages and in rather short time, but we can also perform heavy decontamination.
How much space does one device cover?
Mutton: Up to 250 cubic meters with one single device, and for larger rooms with deploy more than one machine simultaneously.
Products and exhibitors related to disinfection and sterilization
Better safe than sorry - protect yourself and your colleagues from the coronavirus and other pathogens! Discover exhibitors and products in the virtual.MEDICA 2020 database:
The micro-nebulizer from 99Technologies can turn a disinfectant into a fine mist that consists of 75 percent aerosols.
What disinfection agent is used?
Mutton: The main biocidal agent is hydrogen peroxide, but we combine it with other chemicals that influence how the overall system works. On the one hand, they enhance the biocidal capability of hydrogen peroxide which is already a very effective disinfectant. On the other hand, they help create a high-quality mist with extremely fine droplets that reach all areas.
Those are the two components that make a disinfection solution like ours effective as a whole: a good distribution and a highly effective bio-decontaminating agent.
What are advantages and limitations?
Mutton: The major disadvantage is that it needs some time to work. Decontamination takes at least 30 minutes. Compared to technologies which do not make use of consumables, it is a bit slower. But in our experience, those technologies do not have the same degree of pervasiveness as they do not reach every place in the room evenly. Though not toxic, our disinfectant is considered irritant, therefore, similarly to all no-touch technologies, the treatment takes place with no people present in the treated environment.
The clear advantage is its high efficacy (from preventive to remedial), the safety (for both operators and surfaces), the ease of use, the portability, and the cost effectiveness.
To what extent does it work against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2?
Mutton: We have tested our system in South America in the summer, when there was winter in the southern hemisphere. At that time, the virus was harder to find here in Europe. The conditions under which we conducted the test were particularly probing, because we managed to eradicate live virus from a moistened surface. Even under those conditions, we still eliminated more than 99.5 percent of living coronavirus.
What has changed through the pandemic for your company?
Mutton: Businesswise, it has been our strongest year so far. But it also allowed us to raise awareness on the issue of quality disinfection of surfaces. Having well-disinfected surfaces is a mission-critical goal to achieve in a number of economic sectors – not only healthcare but also industries where you cannot afford to deliver contaminated items to the public. The current coronavirus pandemic really shows how important quality disinfection of surfaces is.
Did this situation trigger any new solutions or new ideas?
Mutton: We will introduce gradual improvements to the Micro-Nebulizer in the coming months. We will also introduce technologies to better control the disinfection process; to carefully monitor the actual disinfection when it takes place.
What do you expect from your participation at virtual.MEDICA 2020?
Mutton: I think there will be greater awareness for high-quality disinfection from the part of attendees. We are confident that our technology can help everybody everywhere. So, we hope to enlarge our current group of distributors who deliver our product throughout the world.
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