Portable PPE decontamination tech prompted by Covid shortlisted for award

Inivos PPE decontamination technology selected for national award final

Solutions prompted by Covid pandemic shortlisted in National Technology Awards

Two solutions for decontaminating single-use and reusable personal protective equipment (PPE) used by healthcare staff during the Covid-19 pandemic have been shortlisted for the National Technology Awards.

The ProXcide HPV decontamination robot and ProXpod portable decontamination chamber – developed by infection prevention and control specialists Inivos – have been selected for the Healthcare Tech of the Year category of the award.

Inivos, which works with 50 percent of UK NHS Trusts to eradicate pathogenic microorganisms and ensure safe healthcare spaces, launched the decontamination solutions following urgent customer demand for PPE at the beginning of the pandemic.

The challenge was to determine whether single-use PPE could be decontaminated safely for reuse. Inivos developed the ProXcide robot using hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) dispersal after test results revealed that decontamination by UV-C was unable to expose the whole surface of PPE items. HPV dispersal was found to reach surfaces on target areas to neutralise pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2 while retaining PPE integrity and ensure it was fit for safe reuse.

The other issue was controlling variable environmental parameters, such as temperature and humidity, to achieve desired efficacy of PPE decontamination. ProXpod was launched in March 2020 to remove uncertainty around these variables and provide a purpose-built, portable chamber with monitoring systems for the decontamination.

When used in conjunction, the two technologies can decontaminate up to 3,000 FFP3/N95 respirators every 24 hours.

At the peak of the pandemic, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were using up to 1200 FFPs mask per day. Their tests demonstrated the effectiveness of the system without damaging the integrity or fit of masks, even after five successful decontamination cycles. In the trial, the ProXpod/ProXcide combination was able to locally decontaminate up to 600 respirators every four hours, and around 3,000 FFP3’s every 24 hours, nearly three times the hospital’s requirements.

The pandemic also saw air ambulance and road ambulance crews incorporate decontamination processes into their regular cleaning processes for the first time, with Magpas Air Ambulance and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust both commissioning the ProXpod and ProXcide to decontaminate ambulance equipment.

Daryl Brown, CEO of Magpas Air Ambulance, said: “As well as being called out to incidents such as cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions and accidental injuries, this period has also seen a 70 percent increase in the need for critical patient transfers. Commissioning this decontamination technology has allowed us to respond to that need and keep on delivering a first-class service for the sickest patients in the region, with confidence in the safety of our team and our patients.”

Rick Fentiman, Managing Director at Inivos, added: “When the pandemic hit, it created an unprecedented global demand for PPE such as filtering face piece respirators. Mass shortages were seen worldwide, causing mounting pressure on the healthcare sector to find new ways to safely decontaminate PPE whilst retaining integrity and making it fit for safe reuse in time of emergencies to protect staff against the risk of infection transmission. We created ProXcide and ProXpod to ease this pressure and to help more healthcare workers to play their vital role without the worry of a lack of PPE to protect them.”

“It has been an honour to assist healthcare workers in their frontline fight against Covid-19. We are now looking forward to expanding the use of the ProXpod and ProXcide for the ongoing safe decontamination of healthcare equipment.”

As healthcare workers are also required to complete more manual cleaning processes to ensure patient equipment has been safely decontaminated for reuse, automated technologies like those from Inivos ease pressure on staff, reducing the margin for error, and assisting in releasing more time to care.

The winners of the National Technology Awards will be announced on the 29th September.

For further information please contact:

Colin Hallmark, Inivos Ltd, Tel: +44 207 736 1888 / 07745 914170