It may look like a portable air conditioning unit but what you're seeing is the latest disinfecting robot at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
"General cleaning to the room is not enough when it comes...really having a clean environment for the next patient," said Mike Duclos with Bioquell, a company that operates the robots for the hospital. "It's a three phase process. It's vaporizing the hydrogen peroxide, there's a dwell period that lets it sit on the surface of the room," Duclos explained.
Translation -- the vapor dispersing device cleans the air in sealed rooms with hydrogen peroxide and disinfects all the surfaces. The robots cost over 40-thousand dollars per pair and have been tested by Hopkins researchers since 2007. So far they've disinfected over 4,400 rooms at the hospital.
The focus is to prevent the spread of bacteria in places like operating rooms and intensive care units. "We have such bad bugs that we don't have antibiotics for that we feel confident and secure that by knowing we have made our rooms as clean as possible," Duclos said.
A study just released shows that patients who came into rooms disinfected by these robots were less likely to pick up drug resistant bacteria -- Good news for patients, but the cleaning process is pretty lengthy.
Reporter Christie Ileto: Being that it takes over an hour to do it, is it practical?
Mike Duclos: It is practical. We've been on site for over five years... ...If we miss a room, we can go back and bio-quell that room.
What staff call a big value to fighting the spread of hospital superbugs.
For all of us germ-a-phobes, you're probably wondering, where can I get this robot? Unfortunately they're not for sale -- for now.
PO Box 4508