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Colorizing Technology Aids in Better Disinfection

Color helps EVS staff visually identify spots they have missed when disinfecting surfaces.

May 17, 2023

As reported by Alley Watch, a novel technology is currently being marketed to help environmental services (EVS) workers and other healthcare personnel confirm adequate disinfection through the use of color.

Originally developed in 2015 in response to Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, the technology has been patented by the company Kinnos Inc. and is used in its product known as Highlight. When mixed with cleaning products, the colorizing technology allows users to actually see if they are adequately cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.

For example, when blue color is added to a disinfecting wipe, its solution will appear blue on the surface being cleaned, visually indicating where the disinfectant is being applied as the surface is wiped down. Afterwards, the temporary blue color deposited onto the surface will fade away within minutes.

“We realized [in West Africa] that workers were unable to see the actual disinfectant on a surface and were missing too many spots, both on personnel hazmat suits and on equipment and in facilities,” Kinnos co-founder and chief innovation officer Jason Kang said in his interview with Alley Watch. “This led to a much higher rate of infection for workers and patients.”

“Our goal is not only to help make disinfection more visible and create safer environments for patients,” he continued, “but to also bring visibility to the hard work of the environmental services workers and frontline staff.”

According to Kang, in a peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Infection Prevention last year, Highlight was found to measurably improve cleaning quality metrics by as much as 70%.

Kang admitted that there are other technologies, such as UV lights and misters, that help visually identify where spots have been missed during disinfecting, “but these technologies do not replace manual cleaning and can only be used after manual cleaning is done,” he said. The product can be applied to any disinfecting products already in use by a healthcare facility.

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