Good news! COVID-19 is not transmitted by air.Learn More
Soapy Care develops smart sinks that incorporate computer vision analytics and IoT technologies to help people wash their hands more efficiently
As fears surrounding the coronavirus continue to grow and the number of people forced into home-quarantine rises, Israeli startup Soapy Care Ltd. is aiming to halt the spread of the virus by helping people wash their hands more efficiently.
Founded in 2018 and based in Rehovot in central Israel, smart hygiene startup Soapy Care develops smart sinks that incorporate computer vision analytics and Internet of things (IoT) technologies, Max Simonovsky, the company’s co-founder and CEO said in a Monday interview with Calcalist.
The smart sinks are autonomous and replace traditional sinks, Simonovsky said. Soapy Care’s sinks can be programmed with different settings, including the amount of time the water runs or the precise amount of soap or sanitizer dispensed, in accordance with where the smart sinks are situated, be it at restaurants, hospitals, retirement homes, daycares, or in private homes, Simonovsky said.
While the company suggests using specific types of soaps for better results, their sinks can be used with any standard soap, he said.
The idea for the smart sinks arose a few years ago when Simonovsky’s son, who was two years old at the time, told him he does not think handwashing is important given that some of the sinks at his daycare do not work properly.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, the company has dropped its prices for customers in hard-hit areas, such as China and South Korea, to help halt the spread of the virus, he said. The outbreak has led to a mass increase in the demand for Soapy Care’s smart sinks, Simonovsky added.
Soapy Care’s technology can be found at restaurants, factories, and daycares in countries including Israel, the U.S., Angola, and India, he said. The company has raised more than $1 million to date and employs a team of 22 people.
Source: Calcalist TechLearn More
21-century the new Pandemic Age
As many biology scientists will say, humanity is just a step, a second, a blink in the microbiology history book. These days the world is looking for something that can give a solution, a fightback the new Coronavirus – the COVID19. However, it is nothing new in the last decade. We saw new Influenza viruses, MERS, MRSA, SARS, EBOLA, Noroviruses, superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Furthermore, even alcohol-based sanitizers are not helping.
As it looks today, It will take at least 12-18 months to find and make commercially available a proper vaccine.
However, meanwhile, we should use all of the tools that are available to live through that time. According to the CDC, the best way is to practice good hands washing hygiene.
The main question that we should ask ourselves if we have the knowledge and the technology to fight Coronavirus through prevention by hand wash? Back in December, before the Covid19 became a world problem, our R&D team used another virus as a model in our battle. This TMV virus considered to be one of the most problematic viruses that are known to science. It can survive the heat of 93 Celcius degrees (199 Fahrenheit). We were looking to find the best combination of a life science and 21st-century high-tech. Our result shows the right level of confidence that there is a simple way to fight viruses that are much stronger and resistant than the Coronavirus.
A glance into The Science
The scientific experiment that took back in December 2019 was supported by Dr. Aviv Dombrovsky, a virology and virus transfer expert from the Hebrew University. The experiment was conducted with TMV that is considered to be one of the most resistant viruses known to science. Since November 2019, the EU Commission has established emergency measures to prevent the introduction into and the spread within the EU territory even though it is not affecting humans like the Covid19.
We used this virus as a model for developing a proper hand wash process that increases reagent effectiveness through Computer Vision and the Internet of Things analytics supported methodology. TMV is transmitted by contact as also many viruses, including the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) does.
The specific TMV that we have used is spreading fast across the globe because of human-assisted spread mechanisms.
Our study was performed at Volcani center, with the help of Dr. Aviv Dumbrovsky, Aviv is leading Pathology Researcher with expertise in virus transmission. The experiment was conducted in a few phases. In each phase, three transmission agents were involved.
Phase 1 – Touching infected sample, followed by touching twelve sterile media for virus growth – without using any sanitation tools.
The results: 6 out of 12 media appeared to be infected (50% percent infection).
Phase 2 – Touching infected sample, followed by the hands washing with no soap added and touching twelve sterile media for virus growth
The results: 4 out of 12 media appeared to be infected (33.33 % percent infected).
Phase 3 – Touching infected sample, followed by the hands washing with a plain soap added and touching thirty-six (36) sterile media for virus growth.
The results: 10 out of 36 media appeared to be infected (27.77 % percent infected).
Phase 4 – Touching infected sample, followed by the hands washing with a 2 special formulation soap added and touching thirty-six (36) sterile media (each formulation) for virus growth.
The results: 0 out of 36 and 0 out of 36 media appeared to be infected (0 % percent infected). Special soap washed and killed the virus with 100% efficacy.
TMV is transmitted by contact as also Coronavirus does. It is very hard to stop it from infecting others in line and to identify the disease in its early stage, the same as with the Covid19. Our result proves that a combination of the right reagent with a controlled and user-supportive hand hygiene stations can efficiently fight with even the toughest viruses. “The TMV is much more resistant than most of the know viruses to science. Much more resistant to disinfection agents than the Influenza virus, Norovirus or the new Coranovirus (COVID19), this is why this new technology is a game-changer”.
The Coronavirus transmission mechanics show similar behavior. While the development of the vaccine will take time, it is our responsibility to use all working methods to stop the spread of this new disease.
“The most simple way to avoid infection today is through hands washing with soap and the right hygiene policy”CDC
Forget face masks and rubber gloves.
The best way to avoid the coronavirus is frequent hand washing, according to a medical adviser to the world’s airlines.
The virus can’t survive long on seats or armrests, so physical contact with another person carries the greatest risk of infection on a flight, said David Powell, a physician and medical adviser to the International Air Transport Association. Masks and gloves do a better job of spreading bugs than stopping them, he said.
As concern mounts about the scale of the outbreak, carriers from United Airlines Holdings Inc. to Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. have scrapped thousands of flights to China. Here is an edited transcript from an interview with Powell. IATA represents about 290 airlines and more than 80% of global air traffic.
Q: Is there a risk of becoming contaminated with the virus on a plane?
A: The risk of catching a serious viral infection on an aircraft is low. The air supply to a modern airliner is very different from a movie theater or an office building. The air is a combination of fresh air and recirculated air, about half each. The recirculated air goes through filters of the exact same type that we use in surgical operating theaters. That supplied air is guaranteed to be 99.97% (or better) free of viruses and other particles. So the risk, if there is one, does not come from the supplied air. It comes from other people.
Q: What are the chances of getting the virus by touching the seats, armrest or any of the objects on a plane?
A: Viruses and other microbes like to live on living surfaces like us. Just shaking hands with somebody will be a greater risk by far than some dry surface that has no biological material on it. The survival of viruses on surfaces isn’t great, so it’s believed that normal cleaning, and then the extra cleaning in the event that someone was discovered to be contagious, is the appropriate procedure. Will people stop getting together inside an airplane? I would respond by asking: Will I stop going to the movies, or sports games, or concerts or conferences? I don’t think so.
Q: What’s important if you are on a plane to ensure you don’t get infected?
A: Hand hygiene — because contrary to what people think, the hands are the way that these viruses most efficiently spread. Top of the list is frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, or both. Avoid touching your face. If you cough or sneeze, it’s important to cover your face with a sleeve. Better yet, a tissue to be disposed of carefully, and then sanitizing the hands afterward. Washing your hands and drying them is the best procedure. When that’s not easy to do, alcohol-based sanitizer is a good second-best.
Q: Does wearing masks and gloves help prevent infections?
A: First of all, masks. There’s very limited evidence of benefit, if any, in a casual situation. Masks are useful for those who are unwell to protect other people from them. But wearing a mask all the time will be ineffective. It will allow viruses to be transmitted around it, through it and worse still, if it becomes moist it will encourage the growth of viruses and bacteria. Gloves are probably even worse, because people put on gloves and then touch everything they would have touched with their hands. So it just becomes another way of transferring micro-organisms. And inside the gloves, your hands get hot and sweaty, which is a really good environment for microbes to grow.
Q: Is shutting borders the answer to containing the spread of the virus?
A: One thing that’s changed in the world is the ability for infections to travel rapidly from one location to another and it’s true that aviation is part of that. At the same time, aviation is essential to dealing with outbreaks like this. And this is why we have collaboration with the World Health Organization and IATA that’s been in place for several years. If countries just shut down during disease outbreaks, as happened in west Africa with Ebola, that can make things much worse. During that outbreak, the country struggled, WHO couldn’t get their people in, they couldn’t get biological samples out. The economic impact of being shut off made things worse. General travel bans can make things worse. It can encourage people to travel in secret, which means you lose control of it.
Q: When can we safely say that the worst may be over?
A: The number of cases has continued to increase at around about 16% to 20% each day. Until we get to the point where those numbers are declining, we couldn’t say we turned the corner. (Adds to the second answer the notion that behavior in public spaces is unlikely to be curbed. A previous version of this story corrected the spelling of the doctor’s name.)
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The situation is aggravated by the fact that Asia is now celebrating the New Year, which means that many Chinese go to visit relatives.
- Using tobacco,
- Using tissue,
- Preparing raw animal products,
- Handling dirty equipment, and
- Touching the body (such as scratching your nose).