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Pandemic Resilient Ecosystem for Business Continuity

Ultra Swachh Personal Protective Equipment Disinfection – Ultra Swachh PPE Disinfection Unit is an advanced oxidative process based disinfection unit comprising multiple barrier disruption approach. It works using Ozonated SPACE and Aqua-Ozonated SPACE. This technology is based on Tri-netra mechanism, translating to three step sterilization, where the radical dispenser generates a mist of aqueous ozone as microbial neutralizer (1), UV sterilizes the surface (2), UV further transforms ozone back to oxygen and water (3). Moreover, DRDO has developed multi-layered convertor to absorb residual ozone leftover, if any, after completion of the cycle. This technology has been tested and validated using standard biological indicators having bacterial spores of volcanic origin, which are one of the most resistant micro-flora and used worldwide to obtain Sterility Assurance. The spores were killed instantaneously within an effective contact time of 50 seconds. This ascertained its utility in killing fragile Corona RNA virus, and is also promising for any resilient future bioagent. In case of an unforeseen circumstance where the new bioagent cannot be degraded with this technology, there is a provision of adding Triyogani fumigant making the sterilization process excessively effective. In another situation if there is a need of chemical sterilant, hydrogen peroxide can be added in the radical dispenser. Ultra Swachh can be used to disinfect wide range of material, fabric, PPEs, hard plastic tools, radios, mobile phones, bluetooth devices, watches etc. For hard surface items, only UV-C cycle can be used; for PPEs sterilization Ozonated SPACE cycle can be used and so on. Regarding running cost, there are two models, base model and an advanced version. For both, there is no recurring cost other than operational electric cost at 220V, 50Hz for base model and minimum cost imperative for advanced model. 

Ati Swachh Heat Sensitive Medical Device Disinfection Unit – Ati Swachh is a disinfection/ sterilization unit based on advance oxidative process, for multiple barrier disruption. It works on the same Tri-netra principle explained above for Ultra Swachh. The additional feature of this system is that it works on heat-sensitive materials, mostly medical instruments. Presently, single sterilant technologies do exist like Hydrogen Peroxide vaporized sterilization solution, Ethylene Oxide (EtO) or Steam based systems. However, each has a few problems:

(a) higher recurring cost;

(b) not environment friendly;

(c) non-compatibility with range of fabrics;

(d) lesser oxidative potential of single sterilants technology as compared to Ati Swachh’s dual/ tri-technological combinations and;

(e) standardization and development outside the country and generally imported.

All these methods are highly specialized, dedicated facilities require special trainings and operational instructions to operators due to their associated hazard. Thus, the present solution was developed with respect to advent of COVID-19 spread and as technological solution towards “self-reliant Indian mission”. Also, the current demand of medical device disinfection has escalated many folds which requires quick, sterilization-in-place (SIP) approach of medical device disinfection. The practice of disinfection is already in place in hospitals for management of patients (including infected ones), they generally follow conservative and conventional methods of disinfection (autoclave) which may not be sufficient and suitable for re-utilization to many of the heat sensitive medical devices such as plastic applicators, lumens, endoscopes, brachytherapy applicators, surgical implants, hydrogel based systems etc. This technology has a promising future in dental operations. DRDO has developed and validated the process of sterilization cycle by using globally accepted biological indicator, Geobacillus stearothermophilus (thermophile with the ability to survive up to 130 degC). Similar to Ultra Swachh, there is no recurring cost other than the operational electric cost at 220V, 50Hz for the basic model; with minimum cost inclusion for advanced model.   

In the end, what goes up must come down. The sudden upsurge in the use of sterilants, disinfectants and the compulsive habit of over-sanitization could cause greater problems to human immunity in the future. A study from the University of Ireland in 2010 concluded that Pseudomonas bacteria exposed to disinfectants that were either improperly mixed or excessively used, caused the bacteria to become resistant to the disinfectant, but far more alarmingly, 240 times more resistant to the antibiotics used to treat an infection of the bacteria. There is evidence that misuse of disinfectants may be contributing to bacterial antibiotic resistance. This could be aggravated when dealing with viruses and other bioagents. Thus, all sterilization techniques should be used only in extreme adverse conditions such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. We, as a humanity need enhanced cleaning (sanitization), not sterilization, to keep our immunities high.

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