We are all experiencing the the impact of COVID19, after hearing stories of our front line health workers are reusing their masks and gowns in brown bags it really hit home. Calling my doctor friend I realized his hospital told him to do the same thing.
After COVID19 hitting the West and China, the developed nations will no longer have more resources to spare when the virus starts to spread in developing nations. If we, the United States can not even guarantee the safety of our healthcare workers by providing the PPE, when the virus reaches the developing nations it will have much larger impact.
We want to build an affordable sterilizer that's easy to scale and rebuilt so that people can sterilize their PPEs and use them safely.
What it does
We build a low cost sterilizer that vaporizes hydrogen peroxide to disinfect and sterilize the used masks, so they can be reused again in a much safer manner.
How we built it
We built the sterilizer using recycled plastic boxes, Arduino and an ultrasonic humidifier to vaporize the hydrogen peroxide. Liquid hydrogen peroxide has been used for disinfecting wounds for a long time, when masks, gowns, and face shields are heavily in need, we can now disinfect them and create more reusability. A fully built step by step instruction is documented and can be seen at https://www.hackster.io/Nyceane/hygieia-d5e3d0 this way anybody can build it.
Challenges we ran into
Obtaining materials is quiet hard during COVID19, we had to go through different alternatives a lot.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
UV based sterilizer is useful in some cases, but it's rather expensive and completely out of stock if you try to order. When used incorrectly, UVC lights can cause permanent damage to eyes. Each bulb ranging $80 to $120, entire machine cost $200+ to build. Using hydrogen peroxide and ultrasonic vaporizer, we cut it down to $20-$30, which can be scaled to be affordable not just for U.S, but developing nation as well.
What we learned
We've often look at bad news with bad emotions, but whenever there is a problem, we can always use our engineering wit to create a affordable solution, hence creates hope.
What's next for Hygieia
Hygieia is Greek goddess of cleanliness and sanitation, we plan to build out this product and launch it in the market. Open source will help those countries in need to build out their own sterilizer. Even after COVID19, this product can become one of the household items. Sophie also just had a baby, which is heavily in sterilizer. Hygienic culture is created after COVID19 and we think we can definitely make an impact in this world.