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Air cleaning firms among NHS winners

Three air-cleaning technology companies are among the nine winners of a competition to find new ways to help combat healthcare associated infections.

The firms have been chosen from around 250 applications submitted to the Smart Solutions for HCAI programme, an NHS project which aimed to identify innovative technologies from different industry sectors with the potential to fight hospital bugs.

The successful air-cleaning products are:

AirManager, driven by Close Coupled Field Technology (CCFT) - Quest International (UK)

Medixair - GE Healthcare

The AD (air disinfection unit) - Inov8 Science

Bryan Griffiths, Smart Solutions for HCAI project director, said: “Response to the project has been overwhelming and the judges have been extremely impressed by the high standard of entries. They have had to make some difficult decisions in choosing the winners.

“In our mission to find new solutions to help prevent and control HCAIs, we have looked at a wide array of industry sectors. The final list includes some of the most innovative products in their field and will hopefully provide us with new weapons in the fight against HCAIs in the future.”

The winning products will all be evaluated in an NHS setting beginning in early 2009, with a view to gathering the evidence base to aid further development and potentially supplying them across the NHS in the future if effective.

Smart Solutions for HCAI is a national programme run by TrusTECH, the North West of England NHS Innovation Hub, on behalf of the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (NHS PASA) and supported by the NHS National Innovation Centre.

The programme is part of a wider HCAI Technology Innovation Programme and is a joint initiative between the Department of Health and NHS PASA which aims to speed up the development and introduction of new technologies to help combat infections.

Applications for the programme were received from across the UK and from Ireland, Holland, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and the US. They were screened by an expert review panel consisting of leading academics, nurses and other infection control specialists. Around 30 hospitals have applied to host evaluations.