HealthPro® Series

Content

Award winner and invaluable tool for science and technology

HealthPro Series consistently chosen for important air quality concerns

Case Study: Montana State University

To protect the quality and integrity of imaging produced in an electron scanning lab, researchers depend on IQAir systems to continually filter particles from the air.

Under the supervision of Dr. David L. Dickensheets, scientists at Montana State University are exploring new frontiers in optoelectronics — the application of devices that source, detect and control light. Their goal is the development of electron scanning technology that will give doctors the ability to create subdermal images for cancer detection and other applications.

Several laboratories in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering are dedicated to this pursuit. Researchers employ micromachined 4mm mirrors (known as MEMS deformable mirrors) to enable reliable imaging of a complex object such as human skin. These imaging systems are highly sensitive, and thus susceptible to contamination by foreign particles that land on the lenses and create imaging blemishes.

To protect the quality and integrity of the imaging produced in the labs, researchers depend on IQAir systems to continually filter particles from the air.

"Our devices are so sensitive that a single piece of dust affects the results,” says Dickensheets. "IQAir technology supports our progress by providing a clean and stable testing environment, and by reducing downtime for maintenance and cleaning."

Each lab uses an IQAir HealthPro® Compact air purifier. The IQAir systems provide a steady supply of medical-grade air that is free of more than 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns in diameter or larger.

"In addition to improving optical and imaging quality, high-performance air filtration in the labs has helped reduce system maintenance and downtime,” says research assistant Warren Foster. This painstaking task occupies the time of several researchers and sometimes requires the optoelectrical system to be shut down for days.

"The presence of clean air in the lab allows our researchers to spend less time cleaning optical imperfections and more time reducing the distance towards life-saving results,” says Foster.

Case Study: Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office

The Broward County (Fla.) Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services contacted IQAir with concerns about the Indoor Air Quality at its Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office. IQAir assigned a team of IQAir Commercial Solutions Field Specialists to assess the need and determine the most appropriate air cleaning solution for the facility.

Medical examiners and their staff encounter a variety of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) risks at work. Many duties — such as performing autopsies, conducting examinations, collecting evidence and interpreting toxicological tests — require exposure to potential health hazards. This includes contact with viruses, bacteria, volatile organic compounds (such as formaldehyde) and other hazardous airborne contaminants. Managing Indoor Air Quality and ensuring staff safety is important to the success of the medical examiner’s operations. Adequate ventilation and control of contaminants at their source are vital, but air filtration may also be needed.

The Broward County (Fla.) Office of Medical Examiner and Trauma Services contacted IQAir with concerns about the Indoor Air Quality at its Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office. The staff of 42 handles more than 1,800 cases annually, serving a large district with more than 1.8 million residents. The duties of the team include death (and death-scene) investigations, pathology, toxicology and other services such as indigent cremation and disposition.

Representatives of the medical examiner’s office contacted IQAir with issues regarding Indoor Air Quality and potential staff exposures to airborne contaminants. Key areas of concern included potential exposures while performing examinations and autopsies, and taking specimens of vital organs or body fluids for microscopic or chemical testing. These concerns led Dr. Craig Mallak, chief medical examiner, to wonder if the staff could benefit from the same air-cleaning technology that worked so well in his home. Mallak asked IQAir to help design an air filtration solution that would provide similar results – medical-grade air quality – in the medical examiner’s autopsy and surgical suites, and also in other offices and common areas.

Shortly after receiving a call for help, IQAir assigned a team of IQAir Commercial Solutions Field Specialists to assess the need and determine the most appropriate air cleaning solution for the facility. The IQAir team provided multiple technology configurations, and then worked with the medical examiner’s staff to tailor a customer solution that worked best for the client.

The team of experts recommended installing three IQAir CleanZone 5100 medical-grade air-cleaning systems for the autopsy suite and an additional system in the surgical suite. The CleanZone 5100 features IQAir’s patented HyperHEPA filtration, which is proven and certified to be effective against ultrafine particles – including viruses. Each of the CleanZone systems will run 24 hours a day/7 days a week, offering maximum protection and continuous air cleaning even when the staff are not present.

In addition, 25 stand-alone IQAir HealthPro Plus room air purifiers were placed in surrounding staff offices and common areas. These units were programmed to begin cleaning the air an hour prior to staff arrival and continue running until after staff has left each evening.

Working closely with the staff of the medical examiner’s office, IQAir coordinated all logistics for shipment and installation. To ensure smooth and easy installation, IQAir tested each piece of equipment prior to shipment and again after it was delivered.

The IQAir systems installed in the Broward County medical examiner’s office provide a steady supply of medical-grade air, removing more than 99.5% of all airborne contaminants down to 0.003 microns in diameter. This includes removal of airborne viruses, bacteria, mold spores, ultrafine particles and other airborne contaminants that trigger allergies and could put the health of staff members at risk. Since the IQAir technologies were installed, there has been a decline in respiratory problems and allergies among staff members. The office’s chief of medical examiner operations says IQAir’s patented HyperHEPA filtration has provided a level of protection and indoor environmental quality that is appropriate for a world-class medical examiner’s office.

Case Study: Hong Kong Hospital Authority

After weeks of testing and the installation of several trial systems, the HKHA chose the IQAir HealthPro Series as the only room air cleaner for SARS patients’ rooms.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most effective strategy in preventing another major severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak is finding ways to limit transmission of the disease. The Hong Kong Hospital Authority's (HKHA) selection of IQAir in 2003 marked the first time specialized room air cleaners were used as a control measure against SARS.

Much like the common flu, SARS is spread by close contact. When a person with SARS coughs or sneezes, or even during normal breathing, they contaminate the surrounding air with tiny droplets of infected matter. Someone in close proximity of the infected person can then become infected by breathing the contaminated air. According to the CDC, It is possible that SARS can also spread more broadly through the air. Since there is no specific antiviral treatment for SARS, the most effective strategy is containment. While it is the WHO’s first objective to prevent the international spread of this deadly disease, local health care institutions have begun looking for infection control measures that will help prevent further infections inside the hospitals themselves.

The HKHA focused on special engineering controls as part of their strategy in the fight against SARS. In order to find the most effective and reliable solution the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) of the Hong Kong Government performed rigorous tests on induct HVAC systems and room air cleaners. With the help of sophisticated laser particle counters that record the number of particles in the air, even those down below the size of a virus, the EMSD tested the actual filtration efficiency of numerous air filtration systems. After weeks of testing and the installation of several trial systems the HKHA finally chose the IQAir HealthPro Series as the only room air cleaner for SARS patients’ rooms.

In the event that SARS is suspected in a patient, the HKHA placed a HealthPro Plus system next to the patient’s bed in Hong Kong hospitals. A flexible suction arm attached to the machine was positioned near the patient’s face to capture airborne droplets expelled by coughing and sneezing.

The contaminated air would then be drawn into the system and filtered in a 4-stage filtration process. At the final filtration stage the air cleaning system removes even the tiniest airborne particulates, including the SARS virus, from the air.

As a result the risk of infection within the patient’s room was greatly reduced, thus providing a safer working environment for healthcare personnel and reducing the possibility of spreading of the disease. “This is true prevention,” said IQAir President Frank Hammes. “Hong Kong is breaking new ground in infection control.”