Contaminated healthcare environments are a leading cause of healthcare associated infections that cost the NHS an estimated £2.1 billion per year and lead to 7.1 million occupied bed days (21% of annual bed days across NHS hospitals in England). Interventions such as enhanced environmental decontamination and upgraded building ventilation can alleviate these issues but are often prohibitive since they are capital intensive, require significant increases to staffing levels, and lead to rooms to be decommissioned for prolonged periods to facilitate these activities, further impacting capacity.
Akara was founded on the belief that data-driven automation, powered by robotics and AI, will revolutionize hospital workflow and save millions of lives through infection prevention. Our technology platform comprises three components: fast-acting germ-killing robots that increase availability of clinical areas and improve the quality of environmental decontamination, environmental sensors that help prioritise decontamination in the parts of the hospital where environmental infection risk is greatest, and digital process automation that frees up frontline staff from administrative and other low value tasks.
- In a trial conducted in the isolation ward of an NHS Trust hospital, Akara technology reduced the time to perform a terminal clean of a patient room from 5+ hours (using HPV technology) to less than 30 minutes (more than 10 times improvement) without compromising performance. The impact of this use-case is still being developed, but it is associated with a significant reduction in HCAIs (more rooms can be terminally cleaned), improved staff productivity and improved patient experience (i.e. faster admission times).
- In a trial conducted in the endoscopy department of an NHS Trust hospital, Akara technology reduced fallow times after medical aerosol generating procedures from 27 minutes to 10 minutes (based on 99% air replenishment requirement). This improvement enables 750 additional procedures to be carried out over a 2-month period and is expected to be worth £1.8 million a year.
- Akara technology can enable rooms with poor ventilation (less than five air changes per hour) to achieve air quality comparable with rooms with excellent ventilation (more than 10 air changes per hour). This has three big impacts: (1) Akara technology can help hospitals with ventilation systems that are not compliant with HTM-03 regulations without needing capital investment, (2) Akara technology can help hospitals reduce energy consumption by up to £1 million per year by running ventilation on lower power settings, and using more energy efficient Akara technology to increase ventilation as needed, (3) Akara technology can reduce the capital build cost of new hospitals under the New Hospitals Program. This use-case is being developed in partnership with TClarke, an industry-leading engineering service company involved in the design and construction of new hospitals.