A UAE expatriate has just launched the country’s first homegrown portable steriliser brand, with versions available for healthcare professionals and everyday consumers.
The hospital grade UVLicht Sterilizer can reportedly disinfect personal items, such as mobile phones, keys, and bank cards. Available in Pro and Lite editions, the Pro device can also be used to disinfect small medical tools. Both versions work by sanitising items using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI), a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms. Since no liquid is used in the process, this type of device is particularly suitable for electronic items.
Having been personally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, founder Annabel Demana – whose job as a buyer in the retail industry was impacted by the situation – was able to fast-track production of the device, which has already attracted investor interest. She is currently self-funding the project.
“At the moment, the business is completely bootstrapped with some help and support from my family and friends,” Demana told MobiHealthNews. “I am in touch with a potential investor who’s interested in investing to expand the business, but we haven't finalised anything yet.”
WHY IT MATTERS
As businesses – including leisure and entertainment offerings – begin to reopen in the country, the UAE government has been issuing clear guidelines on the precautions that establishments must take in order to protect workers and consumers. Examples of these include thorough and continuous sanitisation of venues, as well as wearing protective equipment, such as face masks and disposable gloves.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Police recently warned that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 could be transmitted via mobile phones, a problem Demana is keen to solve with the UVLicht.
“There are no conclusive studies on UV’s impact on the coronavirus [SARS-CoV-2] yet. But it has proven effective against other bacteria and COVID-19’s genetic cousin, SARS. Theoretically, these devices should be able to rid your phone’s surface of the coronavirus [causing COVID-19],” continued Demana. “Severe acute respiratory syndrome [SARS] is a life-threatening disease caused by a novel coronavirus termed SARS-CoV. Due to the severity of this disease, the World Health Organization recommends that manipulation of active viral cultures of SARS-CoV be performed in containment laboratories at biosafety level 3 (BSL3).
“The virus was inactivated by ultraviolet light (UV) at 254 nm, heat treatment of 65 degrees Celsius or greater, in alkaline or acidic conditions, [or] formalin and glutaraldehyde treatments.”
The founder clarified that the device is hospital grade as it has received testing by the “Guangdong Detection Center of Microbiology, and Shenzhen Anbotek Compliance Laboratory Limited.
“Our Pro model is actually originally made for, and intended to be marketed for, sanitising medical tools.”
The UVLicht currently retails from AED 369 (approx. $100).
ON THE RECORD
“The concept already exists and [is] big in the United States, but nothing as safe as this [device] has been available [so far] in the UAE. [Thanks to] my existing network in buying and product sourcing, [we found] a manufacturer – with the knowledge to produce such a product – to make it available quickly,” Demana added. “I worked in collaboration with my manufacturer who developed this product. The technology is owned by my manufacturer and allowed me to build a brand.
“The UVLicht is proudly the first UAE-born brand that provides the best and the safest UV disinfection device for everyday use.”