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Healthcare related infections are one of the most pressing issues facing health services today.
Many thousands of patients die every year across Europe and the United States as a result of illnesses picked up in hospital.
Hospital hygiene needs to be improved if the problem is to be solved.
American researchers at the Houston Technology Center have fashioned a robot called Xenex that eradicates germs with blasts of light.
The machine follows a cleaning routine of strobe-like pulses. The flashes are a type of ultraviolet light that sterilises and kills microbiological contaminants.
Dr. Marsia Montecalvo from the Westchester Medical Center says the device has has a positive impact: “We’ve seen a steady decline and we have to attribute at least part of that to the UV disinfections.”
According to researchers a hospital of around 120 beds will need two robots to clean the space.
At a cost of 70,000 euros each cleanliness does not come cheap, but on the plus side there will be fewer unnecessary deaths and less people occupying beds for the treatment of illnesses picked up in hospital.