Killing hospital bacteria with ultraviolet light

Delia: Good afternoon. I’m interviewing Murray MacDonald from Duplex Healthcare. Murray, welcome to Wikihospitals.

Murray: Thank you very much, Delia.

Delia: Murray is involved in the Melbourne Health Accelerator programme, and he has a great design, which involves UV light and robotics. Murray, I’ll ask you to explain your wonderful invention.

Murray: So, our UV robotic technology autonomously moves around the room, and more or less it moves around a bed into a patient area, and carries out disinfection by way of UV light.

Murray MacDonald

Ultraviolet light

UV light has been around ever since the sun has shone on this planet, so the technology has been around for quite a long time. Now, it’s been packaged up in a very portable system that can go into a hospital room and disinfect a room after a patient leaves. They leave the hospital, they’ve been in that room. They’ve touched things, they might have had hospital-acquired infections.

Now the staff member comes in, wheels in the RUVi system, the robotic UV disinfecting system, turns it on, walks out the door. It moves around the room, and the light radiates onto key surfaces that staff or patients would have touched.

Everything from television remote controls to the drawers, to their food trolley or their trolley over the bed. So, it disinfects the room very easily, very simply, before the next patient goes into the room.

“About 1 in 10 of the people admitted to a hospital will contract a HAI. They’re also associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and hospital costs.”
Healthline 24th October 2016

Delia: That sounds great. Now Murray, can you just give an overview of why minimising infections in hospitals is so important?

Hospital acquired infections

Murray: Well, you go into a hospital, and you’re wanting to get well, and depart from that hospital. You’re not really planning on catching a hospital-acquired infection while you’re there that makes you stay longer in hospital, or even gives you complications.

Having a clean hospital is very critical into the medical space. You don’t really want to be catching 1 in 10 hospital-acquired infections, so if you’re patient number 10 going into an Australian hospital, there is a 1 in 10 chance you pick up a hospital-acquired infection. You don’t really want that.

Delia: That’s excellent. Now Murray, you currently have a cleaning company that works within hospitals. Can you just give a brief overview of that?

Murray: Yes, we have a cleaning machinery company that we have thermal disinfecting equipment, and also floor cleaning machinery that disinfects a floor, and actually cleans floors. We use, dry steam vapour is one of our technologies, as well as cylinder brush scrubbing machines. They’re two very popular machines that go into the healthcare industry.

Delia: Murray, you actually were shown on the New Inventor’s Show in April 2011 with an early prototype called FloorBot. Can you give me an overview, please?

Robots for hospital wards

Murray: Yeah, FloorBot is an autonomous navigation robot. Part of RUVi is using some of that technology. FloorBot is a product that you plonk into a room, press the start button, and it looms and maps the room, and logically transverses over the floor surface in logical laps, and cleans quite different to maybe a human cleaner. They kind of clean a bit, us humans clean in a random area.

Machines have just got a dead task, and they go about doing that. That’s the beauty of a robotic machine. You can just put it into a room, it navigates over a very logical end, completes and turns itself off. You can pick it up and take it to the next area.

Delia: And Murray, I understand that this is not only an Australian first, this is actually a world first product.

Murray: Yes, the technology, our RUVi technology, robotic ultraviolet technology, that is a first in the world. They’re navigating around a bed, disinfecting a room autonomously. That is unique.

Delia: …So, if people listening to this podcast would like to get in touch, how do they contact you or your company?

Murray: They can get in contact with Duplex Healthcare via email. They can Google us, Duplex Healthcare, or telephone us up. The web address is, contact our 1-800-622-770, or email us at

Delia: Thank you very much. So, that was Murray Macdonald from Duplex Healthcare.

© Wikihospitals 26th July 2017