Kinnos: Raising the Bar of Infection Prevention Standards
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Each year, we witness an increasing number of patients being affected by healthcare associated infections (HAIs) worldwide, which translates to significant mortality and financial losses for health systems. Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that of every 100 hospitalized patients, nearly 7 in developed and 10 in developing countries could acquire an HAI. With its high mortality rate, these infections have killed more people than prostate and breast cancer combined. In fact, it’s considered to be the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. On a more recent note, the graph of individuals affected by HAIs is on an upward trajectory owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, where transmission occurs through close contact with infected people, surfaces, and objects. Considering that hospitals fail to properly disinfect 50 percent of surfaces in healthcare settings, patients and care providers are in a constant state of danger and peril, with a 5-6x higher risk of acquiring an infection in contaminated rooms.
However, unlike cancer or even the most recent COVID-19 outbreak, HAIs are regarded as the #1 preventable cause of death. Medical facilities just need to emphasize infection control best practices (e.g., environment of care, hand hygiene, attention to safety culture, and antibiotic stewardship) and educating or training health workers to comply with the same to prevent HAIs.
Offering the much-needed help to healthcare providers in ensuring effective hospital surface disinfection is New York-based Kinnos. With a focus on the environment of care, Kinnos has developed a proprietary, one-of-a-kind technology solution, Highlight®, that makes it easy for people to disinfect surfaces correctly. “Developed and first implemented during the 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa, our solution addresses the urgent need to improve disinfection practices for both epidemic response and daily processes,” says Jason Kang, co-founder, and CEO of Kinnos.
Highlight® is a patented color additive that combines with existing bleach disinfectants to help address the critical challenges in the current infection control methods/processes. By providing real-time color-change feedback, the solution enforces thoroughness of cleaning to help combat infections that occur due to inadequate disinfection technique. It turns the disinfectant blue, assuring users that they haven’t missed disinfecting a spot. The blue color fades to colorless to approximate when the contact time has been met, enforcing compliance. Highlight® eliminates challenges pertaining to infrequent training and high turnover of staff by educating them on surface coverage and contact times, transcending language and education barriers. This helps reduce training time without compromising the efficiency and regulatory compliance norms.
Highlight® can mitigate surface corrosion and allows hospitals to reduce their spending on replacing damaged surfaces and equipment.
As a global leader, our mission is to continually raise the bar of infection control practices
Tests conducted by third-party laboratories also assure that the solution is neither an irritant that causes any harm to people nor reduces the efficacy of disinfectants. As such, it is recognized for its capability to improve patient satisfaction, streamline infection control processes, eliminate the friction between staff and managers, and increase users’ responsibility of the patient.
Catering to two different markets, Kinnos delivers two unique products that align well with their specific needs. First and foremost is Highlight® Powder, which is compatible with existing bleach and chlorine sprays. It is widely used by non-profit organizations, HazMat, and biosafety teams for routine decontamination of their medical tents, personal protective equipment, vehicles, floors, and walls. As a grantee of the USAID Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, the solution has been used in various countries, including Liberia, Guinea, Haiti, DR Congo, and Uganda. “Today, our product has been used globally, including in China and the U.S. for disinfecting hospitals and public spaces to improve disinfection practices during the COVID-19 outbreak,” adds Kang.
The second product is the Highlight® Wipes system, which consists of a reusable lid and a disposable cartridge to colorize bleach wipes as they are dispensed through the lid. The Highlight® Wipes’ Lid snaps onto existing bleach wipes brands and come with an adapter for large pails. Inspired by successful pilot projects conducted in liaison with several hospitals, Kinnos envisions a full-fledged launch later this year.
At the moment, Kinnos is conducting R&D to expand product compatibility to other disinfectants beyond bleach to enable wider-spread use of the technology. In response to COVID-19, the company is ramping up its production and reducing the cost of its products. Particularly for the general public, the colorization of Highlight® provides a simple way for organizations to communicate that they are disinfecting surfaces correctly and providing peace of mind. As a socially responsible company, Kinnos has also donated its products to hospitals and first responders. “As a global leader, our mission is to continually raise the bar of infection control practices,” concludes Kang.