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The crucial role of hygiene tech in restoring post-COVID consumer confidence




Embracing hygiene tech is the key to overcoming the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham Mimms, co-founder of Safe Surface Sensor, tells Health Tech World


Coronavirus has immeasurably reshaped the way we interact with the world. Whether that be with friends, colleagues, or day to day services, as a society we have become increasingly conscious of the need to maintain rigorous hygiene standards if we are to avoid viruses such as COVID-19 tearing through society. 

A preoccupation with counteracting the spread of COVID-19 means that businesses and venues at the forefront of innovative health technology and testing programmes are likely to benefit from increased consumer confidence as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, the NHS were quick to embrace the use of technology to counter the impact of Coronavirus. In the UK online medical consultations rose from just 2 per cent in early March to 80 per cent in April, with nearly 9 in 10 GP prescriptions also being issued electronically.  However, as the burden on the health service gradually eases, the responsibility for tackling the virus head on is now in the hands of the private sector.

The way in which the NHS embraced digital services was admirable and it should be used as an example for the private sector. A dearth of confidence remains amongst the public as to whether or not companies are covid-compliant and by embracing health technology they are able to demonstrate a commitment to keeping COVID safe. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, attitudes have drastically changed regarding the effectiveness of cleaning. Reports suggest that half of the population do not believe that the usual day to day cleaning practices provide adequate protection from viruses, underlying the reassurance required by the public before they begin using offices, theatres, and public transport in the same way they once would have done. 

The biggest issue lies with the government not offering a standard protocol as this means the public cannot trust where they are going is safe and businesses do not know what is needed from them to ensure they are making a hygienic environment. 

The UK’s undisputed success in rolling out the vaccine, alongside a proficient testing regime has meant that our public health response has been somewhat pigeonholed. A return to the days of “hands, face, space” might see further spikes in consumer confidence when accessing services, however, the defining attribute of businesses which thrive post-pandemic, will be those who are able to demonstrate their COVID compliance. 

This means we need to turn to hygiene tech, that is innovative and has the ability to provide customers with confidence that the bar, theatre, plane or train there are entering is adequately disinfected. 

Once such solution is Safe Surface Sensor. Using “bio-sensing technology”, sensors are placed on a surfaces in public areas where the transmission of COVID-19 may occur before being sanitised. The area is then sprayed using a fogging system, which disperses a fine mist which is then left to evaporate, killing viruses in the air and on surfaces. The sensors detect whether the area has been adequately disinfected and results are uploaded to a central database. 

With hygiene technology like this, the control is put back in the hands of the consumers, who can then make an informed decision as to whether they want to enter a given space. The impact that this could have on consumer confidence is self-evident, and we would urge the government and companies across the private sector to seriously consider the adoption of such technology. 

As a nation, we are entering a new phase in the fight against COVID-19 – one that is underpinned by the need to ensure that the economy can bounce back as quickly as possible.

This will only happen if consumers are confident in the knowledge that they can safely shop, eat, drink, and visit venues that are rigorous in their hygiene practices. 

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