Star Wars-Looking Robot Tackles Pathogens

CMC has an impressive new weapon in the war against hospital-acquired infections.

Published 3/17/2015

Technology Uses UV Rays to Slay Superbugs and Infections
Ensuring Hospital Rooms Are Sterile and Safe

Catholic Medical Center has an impressive new weapon in the war against hospital-acquired infections.  It looks like something straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the five-foot tall robot is a 21st century solution to one of the biggest challenges facing any hospital, preventing the transmission of multi drug-resistant illness from one patient to another. CMC is proud to introduce Tru-D SmartUVC.

Tru-D is a robot that uses ultraviolet technology to sterilize any room in the hospital by turning up the heat on microorganisms. Operated safely outside the room by a hand-held device, CMC staff can instruct Tru-D to automatically measure the dimensions of any room, set the proper level of UV rays, and safely eliminate whatever health risk isn’t seen by the naked eye.

This technology, the first of its kind in New Hampshire, will catch whatever might be missed by traditional hospital room cleanings.

“Our commitment to quality means taking aggressive steps to protect patients from unforeseen circumstances,” says Dr. Joseph Pepe, President and CEO of CMC. “This high-tech solution is 99.9 percent effective in eliminating viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens.”

After a hospital room is cleaned by traditional methods, the Tru-D SmartUVC powers through the door to finish the job.  From a central spot in the room, the robot scans every surface and every corner of any hospital room, accounting for equipment and sensitive materials.  Following the scan, Tru-D delivers a lethal dose of UV light to destroy microorganisms that pose a health threat.  This technology can be effectively used in patients’ rooms, emergency room areas, waiting rooms and operating rooms. The robot transmits a full report of its operations so hospital staff can track results.

The entire process takes just a few minutes.  It is a simple procedure using smart technology.

“The proper dose of UV light energy generated by Tru-D modifies the DNA structure of an infectious cell so that it cannot reproduce, and a cell that cannot reproduce cannot colonize and harm anyone,” said Karen Kennett, RN, Director of Infection Prevention at CMC. 

The robot eliminates contact pathogens that may have settled on surfaces such as a counter top or night stand. It is an innovation aimed at eliminating multi-drug resistant organisms. The UV light can eliminate influenza, norovirus, MRSA, C. diff, CRE, VRE and even Ebola.

“This will decrease the risk of transmitting drug-resistant pathogens that can cause infection,” says Kennett.  “It protects patients, families and staff by decontaminating a hospital room that has been used by someone with a contagious infection.”

It takes the device about 15-20 minutes to disinfect an average hospital room. Its rays can even reach the bathroom from bedroom area.  Patients who test positive, show symptoms, or have a recent history of multidrug resistant organisms are placed in contact isolation during a hospital stay. The Tru-D unit will be used upon discharge to eliminate any lingering pathogens. It will also be rotated through other locations such as operating rooms for scheduled cleanings.