ORCID

Abstract

The use of mobile ultraviolet-C (UV-C) disinfection devices for the decontamination of surfaces in hospitals and other settings has increased dramatically in recent years. The efficacy of these devices relies on the UV-C dose they deliver to surfaces. This dose is dependent on the room layout, the shadowing, the position of the UV-C source, lamp degradation, humidity and other factors, making it challenging to estimate. Furthermore, since UV-C exposure is regulated, personnel in the room must not be exposed to UV-C doses beyond occupational limits. We proposed a systematic method to monitor the UV-C dose administered to surfaces during a robotic disinfection procedure. This was achieved using a distributed network of wireless UV-C sensors that provide real-time measurements to a robotic platform and operator. These sensors were validated for their linearity and cosine response. To ensure operators could safely remain in the area, a wearable sensor was incorporated to monitor the UV-C exposure of an operator, and it provided an audible warning upon exposure and, if necessary, ceased the UV-C emission from the robot. Enhanced disinfection procedures could then be conducted as items in the room could be rearranged during the procedure to maximise the UV-C fluence delivered to otherwise inaccessible surfaces while allowing UVC disinfection to occur in parallel with traditional cleaning. The system was tested for the terminal disinfection of a hospital ward. During the procedure, the robot was manually positioned in the room by the operator repeatedly, who then used feedback from the sensors to ensure the desired UV-C dose was achieved while also conducting other cleaning tasks. An analysis verified the practicality of this disinfection methodology while highlighting factors which could affect its adoption.

DOI

10.3390/s23052493

Publication Date

2023-02-23

Publication Title

Sensors

Volume

23

Issue

5

First Page

2493

Last Page

2493

ISSN

1424-8220

Embargo Period

2023-03-21

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery

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