New disinfection system drives PreventaMed’s rapid growth

Learn more about:

PreventaMed Technologies Inc.
407 Pilot Court, Suite 300, Waukesha
Industry: Industrial and health care technology
Employees: 15

Jeff Veenhuis formed PreventaMed Technologies Inc. two years ago with the goal of preventing, minimizing and alleviating illnesses and injuries.

PreventaMed manufactures contamination assist trays and distributes cooling products and heat stress safety kits, but it has entered its biggest foray with the Surfacide Helios Disinfection System, an innovation that Veenhuis said will be the primary driver in growing the company’s annual revenue from approximately $1 million to up to $10 million in the next 12 months.

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Earlier this year, PreventaMed became the exclusive licensed manufacturer of the product, which was introduced by Naperville, Ill.-based Surfacide. PreventaMed subsequently moved from a 3,000-square-foot facility at N17 W24222 Riverwood Drive in Waukesha into a new 16,260-square-foot facility at 407 Pilot Court in Waukesha in September to expand its manufacturing capabilities.

PreventaMed also plans to hire at least 10 to 15 more employees in the areas of assembly, technology and manufacturing in the next 12 months, which will double its employment.

Assembly technician Joe McDermott works on the wiring of a Surfacide Helios Disinfection System in PreventaMed’s Waukesha facility.

The Surfacide Helios Disinfection System gets health care environments 99.999 percent to 99.99999 percent disinfected by using UV-C energy to eradicate drug-resistant organisms from hard surfaces such as walls, floors and countertops.

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To operate the system, three articulating UV-C emitters are wheeled into a patient room and positioned approximately six feet away from any surface. Each emitter comes equipped with laser validation that “sees” every surface and ensures uniform delivery of energy. Once the validation is completed, the emitters are activated and the 15- to 30-minute disinfection process begins.

The data is then documented to a tablet via Bluetooth technology so users can see the amount of work done and how much energy has been applied in each room.

The system is used to disinfect health care environments such as this hospital room.

Veenhuis said the system is beneficial because it significantly reduces the risk of health care-associated infections, which pose a major threat to hospitals and other health care environments.

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Roughly one in every 20 hospitalized patients acquires an infection while receiving treatment for another condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If you’re in a hospital, it’s not a place any of us wants to be,” Veenhuis said. “And if one in 20 people are there longer than they need to be, that’s great, we can make a difference to reduce or minimize that.”

Although other UV-C disinfection systems are on the market, Veenhuis said the Surfacide Helios system is different for a number of reasons, including that it’s the first to use smart technology.

It also uses three emitters versus one, which minimizes shadows and delivers greater concentrated energy in closer proximity. In fact, it can deliver up to 40 times more energy than its competitors in the same amount of time and space.

Locally, the $120,000 system is used at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and Veenhuis expects five to 10 more hospitals in the state to begin using it in the next year.

Nationwide, the system is in use at 40 hospitals, including the medical centers at the University of Florida, the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Internationally, the system has been in use at The Royal London Hospital since this past summer, and PreventaMed is preparing a shipment to the Netherlands, planning a rollout in Turkey, and has garnered interest from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

PreventaMed also recently donated a system to the Sierra Leone government to assist with the Ebola outbreak, as UV-C energy has been proven to disable and kill Ebola.

Overall, Veenhuis anticipates another 50 to 100 hospitals throughout the world will use the system in the next year.

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