At Klaren, we want to save and improve the lives of patients, in both high income and low and middle income countries, by reducing the number of healthcare transmitted infections.
In particular, we are focused on solving a currently unsolved problem in medical sterilization that leads to many of these healthcare transmitted infections: a complete inability to sterilize certain types of medical instruments after use, which because they are not-throw away, will be used again.
A good example of this type of “unsterilizable” instrument is the digital x-ray sensor used in an increasing number of dentists’ offices. These devices can cost between $3,000-$5,000 and because they are made up of a complex combination of electronics, plastics, and metals they cannot be sterilized by any known means. They cannot be sterilized by pressurized steam (autoclaves), chemical sterilization (gluteralderhyde), or gas sterilization (ethylene oxide or hydrogen peroxides) because these sterilization systems will destroy the plastics and electronics in the device. Today, digital X-ray sensors are wiped off by hand and have prophylactic coverings put over them, as they are moved from patient to patient. However, studies, have shown that up to 44% of barriers of digital X-ray sensors fail (Hokett, SD et al., “Assessing the effectiveness of direct digital radiography barrier sheaths and cots,” J. Am. Dent. Assoc. 131:463-467 (2000).
The Klaren Technology provides a sterilization solution for things like digital X-ray sensors because the Klaren Technology does not harm electronic components and provides high levels of sterilization in practical office times (for example, 2-5 minutes start to finish).
Other examples of devices that are currently “unsterilizable” by conventional systems include endoscopes and drug-device combinations.
The Developing World Problem
While many infections are transmitted in western level health care facilities by costly high priced, “unsterilizable” medical devices, the problem in developing world countries is much more basic: Many if not most of their healthcare facilities lack adequate sterilization systems.
In much of the developing world healthcare is provided through rural understaffed and underequipped medical facilities. These facilities often lack adequate electricity or even running water to support complex sterilization systems, such as an autoclave which needs high electricity and water hookups or ethylene oxide systems which need even more infrastructure and support. More importantly, none of the existing systems are capable of providing “near real time” or practical sterilization solutions. For example, the ability to sterilize a scalpel or a suture needle between patients, or in extreme cases, syringes and needles before reuse. As amazing as it may seem, millions of infections are transmitted each year from healthcare worker to patient through the reuse of syringes and needles contaminated with HIV, HCV, and HVB.
The Klaren Technology provides a solution for these very difficult problems in the developing world.