UV-C disinfection effectively sanitises the surface and the air too: Richard Mathias, Lifegate Pharmaceuticals – ET HealthWorld

Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Richard Mathias, Founder and Managing Director Lifegate Pharmaceuticals, to know more about the market growth of UV-C germicidal lighting which has emerged as a standard disinfection protocol.

Impact of covid 19 on UVC disinfection equipment markets
Since the pandemic began in 2020, there has been an ever-expanding increase in the sanitisation standards at homes, offices, hospitals, public spaces, etc. Numerous new products, procedures and technologies have been founded to disinfect areas safely. One such method of disinfection which has come into the limelight are UV-C germicidal lighting solutions. A report by Allied Market Research stated that the UV disinfection equipment market was valued at $1.3Bn in 2019 and projected to reach $5.7Bn by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 17.1% from 2020 to 2027.

The market has undoubtedly grown exponentially due to the pandemic. We believe the habits and processes of disinfection introduced now will continue to be a part of our lives for a long time to come. As we said before, the market is booming for UV-C disinfection as the light can effectively sanitise both surfaces and air. A more comprehensive range is also being worked upon within the UV-C field for different aspects of everyday life. The beauty of UV-C is that when you use UV-C at home for the disinfection of viruses and bacteria, we’ve seen its effects with the disappearance of house insects and pests such as lizards and cockroaches. The product can become an integral part of our everyday lives as it is economical, efficient, and can function without any human intervention during disinfection.

How does automated UV-C light-based surface disinfection equipment compare and compete with manual cleaning to prevent the transmission of the virus?
The difference is that of chalk and cheese. The cost of disinfection by UV-C is around 1/10th of conventional disinfection cost. As we highlighted before, UV-C lights disinfect and decontaminate a space on both – surfaces and, very importantly, the air; it is a product vital for Indian households and commercial spaces. Large properties such as hospitals, hotels, and gymnasiums with multi-use areas can extract maximum hours from this product.

Has the UV technology completely displaced the chemical treatment in healthcare.
Due to the lack of awareness, it will take some time for UV-C lights to be accepted as a preferred disinfectant. However, other industries such as multiplexes have displaced chemical treatment.

Protocols, and challenges in the manufacture of UV-C disinfection equipment/products.
Presently, the technology is available, and the cost is also reasonable. A large part of the challenge is ensuring the proper assembly, quality, testing every piece of equipment, and providing that every safety parameter is met.

Your interest in UV-C lights, and when did you launch your first product?
Our interest in UV-C lights first sparked during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. We were looking at efficient ways to sanitise our offices and our factories to keep the workplace safe. In November 2020, after six months in R&D we launched in the Middle East and made our first sale. Then, in May 2021, we forayed into India.

Your current range of UV-C disinfection equipment, other healthcare products
Currently, our UV-C range of products consists of the Nova Mini and the Nova Telescope.
The Nova Mini, a 36W lamp, disinfects rooms of upto 250 sq ft. It’s portable and excellent for households, smaller shops and retail outlets. With the help of a smart plug, it enables the customers to schedule their sanitisation schedule.

Your vision for the company, new products in the pipeline and market expansion plans
We are bullish on disinfection and are working with new technologies. As a company, we would like to be catalysts in the push towards disinfection that happens quietly in the background. So the air we breathe, our rooms, vehicles, etc., will get disinfected without being aware of the same.

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