Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) have always been and continue to be a tremendous cost burden to hospitals and our healthcare system. Covid-19 and the variants going forward have intensified the need to keep surfaces clean. Hospitals are focused on keeping high touch surfaces clean to build public trust and maintain safety. It has been shown that despite best efforts surface contact infections remain high for viruses and bacteria. These pathogens often remain between surface cleanings even if proper episodic procedures are followed. Aionx CleanSURFACES® is the only effective continuous cleaning product available. NextFlex has been instrumental with research, development, and manufacturing assistance to help create this novel continuous cleaning product to reduce and eliminate deadly pathogens that impact our healthcare system daily, including COVID-19 and future variants.
NextFlex worked in partnership with Aionx to utilize novel RNA sequencing technology from CSI which allowed them to prove environmental contamination existence and transmission pathways. They also worked together to refine and expand production capacity of antimicrobial mats called cleanSURFACES®. The continuous cleaning of high touch surfaces significantly reduces the transmission to other surfaces by significantly decreasing the number of living pathogens with the goal of decreasing the resultant infection rate.
Any time microbes contact a mat’s surface, an embedded circuit board sends a micro-electric impulse along printed conductive traces to that location to activate antimicrobial silver and copper ions that quickly eradicate the contaminants. NextFlex played an integral role in helping to secure funding for the project through the CARES Act, approved by Congress in March of 2020, specifically to fight COVID-19, as well as fostering other relationships to achieve Aionx’s long-term manufacturing goals.
“With this technology, we’re addressing a critical weakness in healthcare facilities’ arsenal against surface contamination,” explains Gary Shope, CEO of Aionx. “Episodic cleaners, like UV lights and other common disinfectants, will work in the moment, but surfaces are quickly re-contaminated. You need a continuous killer of the microbial load. Working with partners like NextFlex has allowed us to field this technology that will kill more bioburden for a greater impact of infection rate.”
This technology can be used to fight hospital-acquired microbial infections, including COVID-19 in the short-term, and guard against potential variants of COVID-19 that arise in the future. The application of this innovation to public, medical and retail infrastructure in the long-term could impact how future outbreaks are controlled, especially during flu seasons. Recognizing this, Aionx reached out to the neighboring University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Pinnacle, to bring the technology onboard for a successful validation study. Thanks to the support from NextFlex this effort demonstrated the profound impact of the Aionx product on a hospital unit’s surface microbiome. These results have been submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Together, Aionx (a member of NextFlex) and UPMC Pinnacle are expanding installation to seven hospital ICUs for a six-month experiment to measure pre- and post hospital-acquired infection rates.
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