A Carmel-based company says its technology could revolutionize how people wash their hands and also help prevent the spread of infection in surgical settings. 3Oe Scientific founder and Chief Executive Officer Tom Foust says the smart device, called IGGY, disinfects skin in seven seconds.
The technology uses a stream of aqueous ozone, which is created from standard water with naturally occurring ozone.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Foust explained the technology was in the works prior to the pandemic.
“We were along the path to the FDA, when the pandemic hit. And lo and behold, we start getting inbound calls for devices. And so, we’ve created a wellness device for public health that the user can put their hands in the same technology and cleanse those hands,” said Foust.
The company has a wall-mounted device that allows users to insert their hands for sanitization. Foust says a miniaturized generator creates and precisely controls aqueous ozone at the point of use.
Foust says the user does not need to rub their hands, like in traditional handwashing. Placing their hands in the system kills 99.9% of pathogens, such as MRSA, influenza and coronavirus, according to 3Oe.
Foust says the company is currently seeking approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
It also has a contract with Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic to use the technology in surgery to irrigate wounds on hip and knee replacement.
“Then they found out about our hand sanitizing device, and we’re like, ‘wait a minute, can you build us a device that can go past our elbows and sanitize us for surgery? Yes, we can,’” recalled Foust, who says the company is in discussions with Mayo about that application of the technology.
Last month, the company earned tech product of the year honors during the 2021 Mira awards. The judges commented, ‘the product itself is sustainable and environmentally friendly. It mounts to a wall like a water fountain, only uses about half the electricity of a hairdryer, and, for example, in a single school district, eliminates 224,000 plastic bottles.’
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Foust says the average person washes their hands for less than seven seconds.