University of the Philippines develops sanitation cubicle for frontliners

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University of the Philippines SaniPod
The SaniPod adds an extra layer of protection for health care workers as they leave the COVID 19 patient ward. Photo from DOST-PCHRD.

The University of the Philippines (UP) has developed the SaniPod, a self-contained disinfection cubicle to sanitize medical frontliners or health care workers as they exit COVID-19 patient wards.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato De la Peña announced in his DOSTv public briefing on July 3, 2020, that the first prototype of SaniPod was turned over to the Philippine General Hospital.

The turnover was facilitated by the UP Surgical Innovations and Biotechnology Laboratory (SIBOL) COVID Task Force, a UP Manila College of Medicine program which collaborates with scientists and engineers from UP Diliman to use locally sourced material and technology to produce much needed surgical and medical devices in the country.

The SaniPod disinfection cubicle was reported to be in development in May by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

The self-containing cubicle is similar to air showers meant for sanitizing health workers as they leave the patient wards. The SaniPod is meant for a single person to undergo disinfection while wearing full Personal Protective Equipment.

The Filipino innovation addresses the need to provide frontliners “an extra layer of protection from COVID-19 as SaniPod cubicles are more efficient than the existing sanitation tents in terms of disinfection success,” reports DOST-PCHRD which funded the UP research and development project.

The design decreases contact with the surfaces of the cubicle, leading to lesser chances of microbes staying on the surfaces.

The SaniPod technology uses advanced features such as:

  • acrylic walls for easy cleaning and disinfection of external and internal surfaces when placed in highly contagious and dense areas in the hospital
  • cubicles are installed with automatic motion sensors to activate the entrance and exit doors
  • equipped with different disinfectants coupled with UV light
  • uses a foot sanitation unit to disinfect the undersurface of shoes

The SaniPod development team includes the UP Diliman College of Engineering’s Prof. Eduardo Magdaluyo, Jr., Engr. Jason Pechardo, and Precision/Instrumentation Technician Edgar Argote, in collaboration with UPD Chemistry (Dr Fe Carino & Eiza Yu-Roberto), Microbiology (Joyce Ibarra).

The team from UP Manila includes UP Manila College of Medicine’s Dr. Cathy Co and Dr. Edward Wang, College of Public Health’s Dr. Maita Lota and Mary Ann Sison.

DOST-PCHRD also reports the technology can also be used in highly dense areas where a lot of people congregate such as public markets.

Innovations to provide solutions to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been developed by the University of the Philippines with support from DOST, including the first Philippine-made COVID19 test kit and the RxBox Vital Signs Monitoring Device.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the University of the Philippines and DOST teams for developing the SaniPod self-contained disinfection cubicle to keep health workers safe and stop the spread of the coronavirus disease.

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