Milwaukee-based Aluvis International, Inc. aims to make cleaning mobile devices a daily practice for consumers and a rapid process for hospitals, airports, hotels and other high-traffic areas.
The biotech startup developed a system that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to sanitize mobile devices and tablets in as little as 20 seconds. A user feeds the mobile device into the system and a conveyor belt carries the device across a UV lamp, eliminating bacteria, viruses and fungi from the device.
Aluvis International was co-founded by Aurora Health Care orthopedic surgeons Mark and Matthew Wichman, who are also brothers.
Matthew Wichman says mobile devices are reservoirs for pathogenic bacteria, viruses and are the most contaminated item on a person’s body. In fact, there is a 76% concordance between the bacteria and viruses that exist in our nose and our phones, he added.
“Whether it’s COVID-19 or general cleanliness, people are becoming more aware of mobile device contamination,” Matthew Wichman said. “This world is never going to go back to a germ-naïve world.”
Like many small companies, Aluvis International is unable to obtain a sample of COVID-19 for testing purposes. However, the startup’s sanitization system is 99.9% effective against Clostridium difficile, a form of bacteria that can be eliminated by a dose of UV light three times greater than the dose required to render COVID-19 inactive.
“The ultra-violet light actually kills bacteria, but it can only inactivate a virus and make it non-infectious,” Mark Wichman said.
Aluvis International held its first product launch this past summer on the heels of a $650,000 funding round. The startup has sold and leased 20 devices, which are about 25 pounds and can be purchased for $4,999.
The UV light system was initially developed for operating rooms, but now the startup is looking at other verticals including retail, hospitality and education.
There are similar devices on the market, but the speed at which the startup’s patented conveyor belt system can clean devices is what sets the product apart from competitors, Mark Wichman said.
The Wichman brothers in partnership with medical technology firm RMC Medical purchased the patents for its system 4 years ago from Angelini Pharma Inc., a Maryland-based health care company. Aluvis International is now considering another capital raise to fund the production of additional units.
Co-founders: Dr. Matthew Wichman and Dr. Mark WichmanFounded: 2018
Product: A sanitization system that cleans mobile devices using UV light technology.Website: aluvis.com
Goal: To make sanitization of mobile devices a day-to-day practice. Experience: Aurora Health Care orthopedic surgeons.