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NY Post
New York Post
22 Apr 2023


NextImg:Robots with ultra-bright lights deployed in fight against deadly fungus

At least half a dozen New York City area hospitals are using $100,000 robots that deploy high-intensity light to combat a deadly drug-resistant fungus spreading across the country and state.

Xenex UV LightingStrike Robots have a 99% success rate in stopping the spread of Candida auris, the potentially fatal drug-resistant fungi first identified in Japan in 2009, according to a study by Netcare Hospitals.

Last year, New York state saw record number of cases of Candida auris — a “diabolical” fungal infection that can cause sepsis if it enters the bloodstream.

Xenex Disinfection Services — which told The Post it has disinfecting robots in local hospitals and at least 130 veterans hospitals nationwide — applied for approval from the Federal Drug Administration earlier this year for the device that uses xenon light, which is commonly found in vehicle headlights.

The light is 4,300 times more intense than the standard bulb, and kills germs more quickly than mercury-based UV bulbs in other machines, according to the company.

“It’s the difference between a Porsche and a [Ford] Model A,” Morris Miller, the company’s CEO said.

The company said the robots are currently being put into use at local hospitals including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which has locations around the New York City area, North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, and Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow.

At least half a dozen New York City area hospitals are using $100,000 robots that deploy high-intensity light to combat a deadly drug-resistant fungus.
Xenex

Miller said the robots are being put to use in at least 130 Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country.
Xenex

Miller also said that the robots were designed by two epidemiologists.

Morris said that his company’s robot can be used to disinfect a hospital room in about 10 minutes.

“On an ultra-serious and scary pathogen your talking about 15 minutes [on the] left [side of the room], 15 minutes [on the] right [side of the room], you’re done,” Morris said.

The company said the robots are currently being put into use at local hospitals including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which has locations throughout New York State.

The company said the robots are currently being put into use at local hospitals including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which has locations throughout New York State.
Christopher Sadowski

Dr. Donna Armellino, an infection prevention specialist at Northwell Health, said that she and her colleagues use UV devices, including Xenex robots and similar devices from Leviant Inc, on top of traditional cleaning methods.

Armellino said the robots are also used in the neonatal intensive care units.

Armellino added that the federal government has yet to set standards regarding UV devices and there is still more to learn about the devices, as well as the best ways to use them.

“There needs to be more literature and controlled studies,” she said.