In the United States, every year about two million patients suffer infections after being admitted to a hospital for another cause and about 90,000 die from them. A growing problem in a context of an increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, drug-immune microbes that kill some 700,000 people annually around the world.
Nicaraguan physician Kevin Chamorro experienced this situation first-hand. His father was admitted for COVID-19 and in the hospital, he was infected with up to three different bacteria. He died. To prevent more families from experiencing the suffering of being left incomplete, Chamorro has launched a series of products with ultraviolet light to disinfect health facilities and patients more quickly and completely from the family company MedETechni. Thanks to this breakthrough, he has become one of MIT Technology Review's 35 Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2022 in Spanish.
Chamorro seeks to save lives with technology. MedETechni was born in 2018 with bracelets to support visually impaired people. With the arrival of the pandemic in 2020, the doctor set out to prevent COVID-19 contagions thanks to ultraviolet lamps controlled remotely with the internet of things (IoT) that disinfect spaces and wounds.
The monetary cost in Nicaragua for a person in the ICU is between $1,800 and $3,000. Chamorro's products sterilize operating rooms and intensive care units (ICUs) in 30 minutes. In the five hospitals in Nicaragua where MedETechni's technology is already in use, they have seen a reduction in cases of COVID-19 as well as other acquired infections. Chamorro points out that in these centers "costs have been reduced by 53%" because of an 80% reduction in the number of patients admitted to the ICU.
The doctor has developed five products that disinfect rooms and surfaces. A sterilizing cube developed by Chamorro can be applied to plastic products that cannot be easily disinfected, such as autoclaves. His technology can even be applied directly to patients to clean their wounds. This prevents and treats infections from surgeries. Another device is exclusively for people with diabetes who develop ulcers. The device detects their leg thanks to its sensors and sterilizes it in three minutes. Chamorro explains, "Many ulcers do not heal because they are infected and lead to complications".