Electronic Products for a broad range of sectors
Using smart technology to identify a lethal biohazard
Cubik Innovation have a history of engineering electronic systems which deliver key improvements in public health and safety whilst limiting environmental impact. Last year we partnered with a local Smart Facilities Management start-up to create a device capable of detecting the risk of Legionnaires’ disease in hospitals, hotels, offices and other public buildings requiring compliance to ACoP L8.
As with all great innovations, Leocycle provides an elegant solution to traditional problems.
A persistently demanding topic for Building Management teams is that of water safety. One of the primary challenges for facilities is the management of Legionella and Legionnaires disease. Legionella are transmitted to a host via stagnant water droplets in the air, for example from a tap which hasn’t been used for a length of time.
Often the only method to remove the threat is to perform manual flushing of every potential risk area, in some circumstances emptying a fully opened hot tap into the sink for up to 20 minutes per outlet, just to be absolutely sure the tap has been sterilised.
Blindly flooding the system on a weekly basis puts many man-hours and large amounts of heated water literally down the drain, with no assurance that the flushing regime has been effective (if the water was hot enough to sterilise), or ironically that it was even required in the first place (if the tap was used often enough in the week, bacteria would not have had the chance to multiply).
Businesses at risk of infection are also required to provide an audit trail. Audit trails and data collection are also a vital tool for evaluating the wider risk levels to building occupants over time.
Leocycle was designed to monitor this flushing process, and provide feedback on when and where flushing is actually required, and to confirm that sterilisation has taken place.
This smart, embedded device can be retrofitted to sinks and water basins without the need to disrupt existing building management systems infrastructure, break into pipework or provide any mains power in the area.
Leocycle uses advanced detection and evaluation algorithms to determine when an outlet really needs attention. It continuously monitors the level of risk of legionella and alerts the user of when flushing should take place. The system is geared for use in any building where water may remain unchanged for extended periods. Alongside frequently alerting users, the system continuously logs the activity at the sink, including flushing, to provide a comprehensive compliance record for auditing and further analysis.
“ACoP compliance is a major legislation concern for any facilities manager, now organisations have an auditable, reliable detection system which can save labour & cost in maintaining compliance – something which will be very welcome in the current climate of austerity”, said Robin Stone on the importance of the device.
Cubik were approached to advance the early Leocycle prototype, and develop key components of a launch product suitable for the market These first batch of these market-ready products were then field tested in local hospitals to ensure functionality and efficiency in a live scenario.
Cubik were also commissioned to tackle the huge problem of battery life, and were successful in extending the prototypes operation time from 6 weeks to over 1 year. Leocycle and Cubik now look to build on this successful partnership with future innovative products for the Built Environment, Robin Stone adding:
“Smart, connected facility systems are going through a real generational change when it comes to building management, thanks to advances in the ‘Internet-of-Things’ and embedded processing”.
“The Leocycle team is uniquely positioned as both a Facilities Management consultancy firm for tailored solutions, and as a provider of mission-critical products which will benefit everyone. We have a number of innovations we’re eager to bring to market as soon as possible, so watch this space!”
Sam Beard, Cubik’s Production Manager and Dan Morgan, this year’s Cubik Intern, fitted Leocycle into two general hospitals last month. Dan keenly expressed how much he had enjoyed testing the product to improve its battery life, in the knowledge he was involved in a project that was helping to ensure improved safety regulation, adding:
“It was a great challenge and an extremely interesting and worthy project to have a hand in, I look forward to seeing the product successfully make its way to the market”
Systems that serve public health and safety are of paramount importance in a world of increasing risk, and are of great interest to Cubik.
If you have a concept or a prototype that works to streamline current manual health and safety process and you’re in need of some assistance in either design or production, please contact the Cubik team!
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