US-based Baptist Health Jacksonville has deployed new germ-zapping robots, which use ultraviolet (UV) light to eradicate bacteria, viruses, mould and other pathogens.

Initially, Baptist Health bought seven Xenex Disinfection Services’ germ-zapping robots that will be deployed across its hospitals.

Baptist Health executive vice-president John Wilbanks said: "These robots provide another added layer of protection for our patients and team members, and are part of Baptist Health’s initiative to reduce hospital-acquired infections.

"We have a host of new prevention efforts that include new Vestex protective uniforms for team members, and Vestex patient garments implemented recently with antimicrobial / fluid repellent technology to help fight infection."

"Using pulsed Xenon UV light, the disinfection device kills dangerous microorganisms, and helps reduce germs."

Using pulsed Xenon UV light, the disinfection device kills dangerous microorganisms, and helps reduce germs.

The Xenex robot emits intense and full spectrum UV light that penetrates pathogen cell walls, making them inactive and unable to reproduce or mutate.

It is also effective against dangerous pathogens such as Clostridium difficile (C diff), the Ebola virus, norovirus, influenza, and staph bacteria such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The robots will be used at the hospital’s high-risk areas such as isolation patient rooms, and in critical care and intensive care units.

According to Baptist Health, the robots will improve sanitation efficiency and effectiveness, and reduce unnecessary costs related to hospital-acquired infections. It is not intended as a substitute for hand hygiene and traditional cleaning procedures.