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Working together to protect those on the frontline

While governments worldwide continue with attempts to contain and manage the coronavirus outbreak, the pandemic is revealing the fragility of health systems in many countries.

Healthcare workers have faced the incredibly difficult task of treating and caring for huge numbers of patients, while relying on personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent further spread of the virus. But demand for PPE has outstripped supply in many places, placing healthcare workers at risk of infection. 

Part of the problem is that most PPE is single-use – once worn, it is contaminated and must be disposed of. However, the Portuguese medtech company, Delox, believe their decontamination device could provide an answer to shortages, offering a way for hospitals to safely reuse PPE. The device uses a proprietary technology, dry Vaporised Hydrogen Peroxide (VHP), to bio-decontaminate anything from small PPE pieces such as respirators or masks up to laboratory enclosures such as biosafety cabinets.

While the device will be soon used to bio-decontaminate PPE at the Hospital of Armed Forces in Lisbon, Delox was looking for collaborators to test and implement the technology further afield. With the help of the EIT Health Making Connections platform, Delox was contacted by a Swedish laboratory and an Austrian medical equipment developer and manufacturer. Delox is now exploring opportunities to collaborate with both companies in the future, enabling them to test the decontamination device in different environments, in the hope that it will help to protect those on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic at a time where PPE is in high demand.