Local company builds robots to disinfect areas exposed to Ebola

HORSHAM, Pa. (WPVI) -- Medical facilities around the globe are using state-of-the art technology to disinfect areas that have been exposed to Ebola.

They are called decontamination robots and they are made by a company in Horsham.

The robots are made by the biotech company, Bioquell, and are the most effective decontamination technology on the market.

They are used locally to disinfect rooms at hospitals like Holy Redeemer for viruses such as MRSA, but have most recently been called to duty at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, following the first documented case of Ebola in the U.S.

The robots have also been used in the UK, France, Spain and the National Institutes of Health.

The portable, automated technology uses a 35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution with water, which is very concentrated, but environmentally safe.

"The vapor is then pumped up through the nozzle itself and then is dispersed into the room," Ed Striefsky, Director of Operations, said.

Striefsky says it would take between an hour and an hour and a half to decontaminate a room.

Bioquell uses chemical indicators to determine when all the pathogens are removed from an infected room.

The aeration unit then vacuums the hydrogen peroxide from the room.

After the hydrogen peroxide is removed from a contaminated area and its effectiveness is verified, hospital rooms and emergency vehicles can immediately return to service.

Bioquell expects its technology will be used soon to protect future patients, hospital staff and surrounding communities in Guinea, Sierra Leone and other parts of West Africa.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.