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RFID Enables Use of Non-synthetic Cleaner by Tracking Expirations

The Annihilyzer solution, from Paradigm Convergence Technologies, leverages hydrochlorous acid to kill germs without toxins, while RFID tracks its 30-day shelf life to ensure it's being used properly.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 12, 2018

As infection rates remain high at hospitals and other public facilities, some companies are offering a new kind of cleaning and disinfecting agent that eliminates the need for harsh chemicals. But it comes with its own challenge: a highly limited effective shelf life. The answer, for one firm, has been pairing radio frequency identification technology with this natural compound, known as hypochlorous (HOCL) acid, to enable a safe and controlled solution for cleaning a facility.

Technology company Paradigm Convergence Technologies (PCT) has a patent, as of June 2017, on a Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID-based system used with its electro-chemical activation (ECA)—electrolyzed—and synthesized disinfectants to enable a managed, non-toxic solution for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting spaces such as hospitals, dental offices and nursing homes. The Annihilyzer system consists of the chemical-free liquid to clean and disinfect surfaces, as well as a system to automatically prevent expiration, enabled by RFID.

Multiple hospitals are now trialing or deploying the system to provide non-toxic cleaning of surfaces at their facilities. The RFID system tracks such information as who filled a particular solution container with the product at any given time, where and when it was used, and whether cleaning and disinfecting protocols were followed. This data is then stored in a cloud-based system, so that management can easily retrieve it.

PCT, based in Little River, S.C., was formerly called Bingham Canyon Corp. Its solution centers around PCT's HOCL acid product, created through ECA synthesis. Hypochlorous is a substance produced by the human body's white blood cells to kill pathogens, says Marty Paris, PCT's chief business strategy officer. The acid kills viruses, bacteria and fungus, he says, without all the toxic fumes that bleach or ammonia might produce.

The shortcoming of HOCL acid is that it loses its effectiveness within about a month. Because the solution is naturally unstable, it reverts to saline over time. Therefore, Paris says, if it is to be used in highly sensitive and regulated places, such as hospitals, the date when it is prepared and then used must be closely monitored. The solution to that challenge, he adds, comes in the form of NFC RFID.

With the Annihilyzer system, the solution is produced onsite at a dedicated kiosk. The system includes two products: HOCL disinfectant, and sodium hydroxide cleaner and degreaser. In each case, users must be able to create an electronic expiration date. A built-in RFID reader and a tag on each solution bottle allows that to occur, by tracking not only the dispensing of the solution, but when that solution is used and finally disposed of (if it is expired).

First, a hospital employee creates a new bottle of the product at the kiosk. The kiosk produces and dispenses the solution into the reusable bottle, which has an NFC RFID tag embedded in its label. An NFC reader built into the kiosk reads the tag's ID number at the same time that the bottle is being filled, thereby creating a record of that event in the Annihilyzer software. The software can then track the expiration date and alert the hospital, as well as any users of the solution, once the date has been reached, in order to prevent its use after it is no longer effective.

The second feature of the technology is an app-based system to track how the solution is being utilized, along with the user's adherence to proper protocols. Individuals cleaning a room can employ either a dedicated handheld device or their own mobile phone or tablet to accomplish the process.

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