Hospitals Enlist R2D2 to Kill Germs
Hospital-acquired infections threaten 1.7 million Americans per year, and kill 99,000 hospital patients. But now, an adorable robot will be put to work in 200 hospitals around the country. Its job - to kill hidden bacteria, spores, and microorganisms with high intensity U.V. light.
"It's a germ-zapping robot," Mark Stibich, chief scientific officer for Xenex Disinfection Services explained. "It saturates the room with this high energy UV light that finds the bacteria and viruses, and it fuses their DNA and kills them."
The robot is about four feet tall with a domed top, evocative of the cute, friendly R2D2 from "Star Wars." But make no mistake, it's a deadly killer that uses a zenon gas light that is 25 times more intense than the sun.
According to a study conducted at three separate hospitals, the robot reduced one of the most deadly forms of infection, C-diff, by 53%, MRSA by 57%, and overall hospital acquired infections by 20%.