Keyboard technology helps fight pandemics

Feb. 18, 2010
Touch-sensitive computer keyboard cleans in one wipe.

CHICAGO, Ill.--Cleankeys is a one-wipe-clean wireless keyboard designed and manufactured in Canada.

Intended for infection control, the keyboard is scheduled to be unveiled Feb. 25, 2010, in the U.S. at the 145th Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

Of all common surfaces, keyboards are one of the most germ-infested. In hospitals, keyboards are known to spread infection more than any other surface. More than 100 000 North Americans die from hospital-acquired infections every year.

"Viruses like H1N1 and other infectious diseases are spread most commonly through people's hands and shared computer keyboards, but Cleankeys helps stop that spread," said Randy Marsden, CEO of Cleankeys.

"Most keyboards aren't used by just one person. Think clinics, schools, food services--any place people share computers. You can share this keyboard without sharing your germs."

Clinical trials prove that a single wipe with a disinfecting cloth on Cleankeys' smooth surface kills 99% of bacteria. Trials also show that the same test on standard plastic and rubber keyboards eliminates less than 5%. Cleankeys can also be cleaned with soap and water.

"Everything is swabbed and wiped clean in hospitals except the keyboards," said Dr. Richard Fedorak, professor of medicine at the University of Alberta. "We have no real ability to clean them aside from blowing the dust off. This is not sufficient to keep keyboards clean and prevent hospital acquired infection. You need a keyboard that can be completely sterilized and that's Cleankeys."

Global infection control experts have also commented on Cleankeys.

"Cleankeys ticks all my boxes for infection control," said Ron Moody, health and safety manager, National Health Service, UK. "Nothing can be caught or trapped in the keyboard. And with the built-in mouse, it's the perfect solution."

Marsden has pioneered specialized computing technologies for people with disabilities for more than two decades. He is also co-founder of Swype, a text-input software used in Samsung smart phones.

For more information, go to Cleankeys.

To read more about protective equipment, go to protective equipment.

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