A Hershey-based startup developing continuously cleaning surfaces for hospitals is growing its outreach to the area’s life-sustaining businesses.
AIONX Antimicrobial Technologies began offering the most recent version of its adhesive covers to hospital systems last year and has shifted its focus as businesses still operating from brick-and-mortar buildings look for how to best keep their clients and employees safe from the spread of COVID-19
The adhesive covers, known as cleanSURFACES, are continuously cleaning surfaces powered with a small electrical current. When something touches the surface, it releases copper and silver ions that kill up to 97% of bacteria, fungi or viruses, according to AIONX.
While the surfaces aren’t an alternative to soap and water, they are able to consistently clean surfaces that would normally be contaminated after someone else touched them, said Dr. Alexander Shope, chief medical officer at AIONX.
“Maybe you wipe your surface off, someone comes into that room and sneezes and whatever they coughed lands on our technology,” Shope said. “It will immediately kill the pathogens that landed on it and you weren’t even around to clean it.”
Anything that touches the surface of AIONX’s product is effected by the ions it releases, meaning that it can disinfect everything from hands and car keys to phones and medical equipment.
Shope said the electrical charge and the ions released from the surface are strong enough to kill bacteria and viruses on the objects it touches, but not strong enough to effect other technology or be felt by a human hand.
The surfaces can also be wiped down and have other chemicals on it. Shope said he has seen the product used at personal workspaces under someone’s computer as well as at help desks in order to stop the spread of bacteria or viruses on surfaces touched by many people.
As a small startup, AIONX needed to initially focus on an industry that it thought could best use the technology and chose hospitals, said Shope. But with the outpour of people looking for ways they can halt the spread of COVID-19, he said it was important that the company markets to all types of businesses.
“We thought it was vital to help businesses that have to stay open and we thought it was important to reach out and make them aware of the product,” he said.
CleanSURFACES lasts for approximately 30 days in a commercial setting before it needs to be replaced.
Currently the company has found interest for the product in primary care offices, retirement communities, laboratories, small businesses, residential homes and Juniata College.