Richard Shea, CEO of Sterifre Medical Inc., thinks so. His company has just raised $8 million in a Series B private equity round of financing to market products for rapid, point-of-care device disinfection in healthcare facilities. Shea was previously the CEO of Olympus Respiratory America, a provider of COPD treatment products, and was one of the founding executives of Stericycle Inc.
“Initially we will be focused on three areas: non-critical, point-of-care medical devices, environment-of-care items that patients come into contact with, and hospital personnel health and wellness items,” Shea tells MD+DI. “Research has shown that disinfecting these items is an acute problem for nurses. Non-critical devices include items like radios/phones, tablets, thermometers, glucometers, otoscopes, stethoscopes, oximeters, pads/sensors, cords/cables, doppler probes, etc. Patient-use items include remote controls, phones, tablets, call buttons, etc. Finally, at the end of a shift, a clinician’s personal items such as phones, keys, ID badges, jewelry, etc. can be thoroughly and quickly disinfected prior to going home.”
Sterifre’s automated point-of-care system, Aura, seeks to address user concerns with current disinfection approaches. “As more and more medical devices become smaller and more accessible at the patient bedside, there are compelling patient and clinician benefits,” said Shea. “However, it is well documented that medical devices used at the point of care can harbor pathogenic microorganisms. There are also studies that show that the use of disinfectant wipes may not remove and/or kill all pathogens present for a variety of reasons. This means that patients and caregivers could be potentially exposed to medical devices that are contaminated, creating the potential for infection transmission.
“Similarly, it is well documented that many common hospital disinfectants degrade medical devices, damaging plastic housings, screens, keypads, cords, and cables,” he continued. “This may make a device difficult to use accurately, damage the device to the point that it is removed from service, or add to the hospital financial burden of having to replace damaged devices.”…