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COVID-19 pushes local hospital to purchase, use advancements in medical technology

Posted at 11:14 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 22:55:10-05

GROESBECK, TX — COVID-19 has negatively impacted everything it seems like. But the coronavirus has also forced us to innovate. It's even rushed some technologies to market that many thought were still years away.

Bobbie Jean King watches the number of COVID-19 cases rise each day hoping neither she nor her friends and family catch it.

”I try to do my best to keep from getting it," said the Groesbeck woman.

Experts say we all should.

”Infection control is everybody's job. Keeping your germs to yourself,” explained Corey Tunnell, Infection Control Officer at Limestone Medical Center.

Now, she's found a way to guarantee it. Her hospital, Limestone Medical Center, has not one but two COVID-killing robots named TRU-D roaming the halls and making every room germ free.

”Disinfection in progress,” says the robot, as its light flicker to life.

It may look like a weird contraption that reminds you of a tanning bed. In fact, it's got some things in common. It sends a burst of ultraviolet light into a room that can give you sunburn in seconds and kill any germ in the room.

"Once we get to that pathogen and deliver the proper dose of UBC, it breaks down the DNA of the pathogen. It disables that sort of, that cannot grow reproduce anymore,” said LeLese George of Tru-D.

The robot makes a room as clean as an operating room.

What's really remarkable about TRU-D is not only does it disinfect surfaces, it also gets underneath and in between. How does it do that?

”This light bounces and reflects. So imagine ping pong balls bouncing all over the room. That's basically what this does once we turn it on,” explained George.

The cleaning crew can come back minutes later, knowing they have a sterilized room ready for any kind of patient.

”We purchased two of these devices. We are going to disinfect every discharge in our in-patient floor. Actually we are going to disinfect every room to just elevate that level of patient safety,” said Tunnell.

While King applauds these modern medical advances like TRU-D, she just wishes it hadn't taken a pandemic to bring technology like this to her town.

”I think we should have done it a long time ago and not waited until something like this came around. I think they need to do it more,” said King.

Exactly what her hometown hospital plans to do in the name of better health.