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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.
PCT provides Juniper Systems' Cedar and CT5 handheld devices for customers that request a ruggedized reader. However, the company notes, other NFC readers would also work with the system.
To identify the location at which cleaning is taking place, an NFC tag is affixed to a wall near each room. A user can tap the reader or a smartphone next to the tag to launch the app. He or she taps the Annihilyzer bottle with the phone or reader, and the software links the solution to that individual, as well as to the place, date and time. If the product is expiring, an alert is displayed in the app.
Otherwise, the user can follow the instructions in the app, which could consist of industry standards or customized steps input by the hospital to suit the needs of that location. He or she would then select "submit" when finished with the tasks for that room. The system enables management to verify what was done inside each room, Paris says, as well as when and by whom. Users can also set the system to track other events, such as electrostatic spraying of specific areas in the event of a flu outbreak, for instance.
The hospital can use the software to generate reports indicating which jobs have been completed, by whom, when this occurred and what the work consisted of. Management can then log into the cloud-based software to access those reports, or to share them with regulatory bodies. The information allows management to tailor training or to reduce liability issues as well.
PCT gained acceptance from the EPA to use the solution with the RFID technology as a cleaner, disinfectant and sterilizer in public spaces, provided that it is used within the 30-day shelf life. Paris has been working on the system since about 2010, he says, initially with an Impinj UHF RFID reader built into a kiosk. The benefit of NFC, he explains, is that "it requires a much smaller, less expensive reader," along with a very good read rate. By 2014, he filed for a patent using NFC technology.
According to Paris, the solution would be harder to use without the NFC RFID component, due to the shelf-life concerns. The solution not only benefits those who might suffer health problems from being around chemical cleaners, but also the surfaces the spray touches. Paris notes that cleaners alone can damage or destroy things like mattresses over time. He cites health-damaging materials such as asbestos and lead paint, which have been phased out of commercial use. Doctors have told Paris that the system signals one of the biggest advancements in hospital disinfection in decades. "Without RFID, though, it's hard to use the product effectively," he states.
The system is currently being used at multiple hospitals, including Johnston Health, part of University of North Carolina (UNC) Heath Care, and trialed at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in Brooklyn. The company is customizing its solution for specific end users, Paris says, adding, "We intend to be at the tip of the spear, always." When it comes to providing what he predicts will be a major shift away from chemicals, Paris says, "It's the right time and the right thing to do."
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