Shaun Desroches, Senior Vice-President Sales & Marketing at Franke Kindred Canada Ltd., spoke about the Medi-flow sink at the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe’s 2018 Prosperity Summit.

Franke Kindred Canada has developed a sink which could drastically impact hospitals’ ability to limit the spread of bacteria and control infections.

Engineers at the Midland facility, located off Highway 12 just west of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, have designed the Medi-flo sink. It is equipped with an ozone generator, which adds ozone to the water to help kill bacteria.

“For the health care industry, one of the biggest pain points is infection control within the hospital and the spread of bacteria that leads to infection,” said Shaun Desroches, Franke Kindred’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing.

In Canada, every 157 seconds somebody acquires a hospital-associated infection and every 52 minutes somebody dies from that infection, according to Desroches.

Franke Kindred engineers saw an opportunity to solve a very significant problem facing the health care industry. Six years ago, they set out to develop a sink which would limit the spread of bacteria.

“A leading generator of infections within hospitals is the bacteria that builds up within a sink,” said Desroches. “When people wash their hands, the bacteria goes off their hands and into the drain. Over time that bacteria continues to build and makes its way into the environment and it spreads around the facility.”

The Medi-flow sink has a few features which help with infection control. An off-centre drain and laminar flow tap helps prevent splashing, while an ozone generator adds ozone to the water to kill bacteria.

MediFlo Sink

“The ozone will actually kill the bacteria that is on your hands and as the ozonated water makes its way across the surface of the sink it will kill any bacteria on that surface,” said Desroches. “Most importantly, as the ozonated water makes its way down the drain it will kill any bacteria that’s in the drain.”

Third-party research was recently conducted in order to give the sink some credibility and help the local company get it out to market.

A study conducted by Dr. Curtis Donskey revealed that within two days of using ozonated water in hand washing sinks the bacteria within the sink strainer is killed and within nine days the bacteria in the drain is killed,” said Desroches.

While the sink is great for new facilities, replacing sinks in existing facilities is a costly procedure due to decontamination costs. According to Desroches, it would cost around $15,000 to replace an existing sink in a hospital with a new Medi-flow sink.

“We try to take a step back and look at it from a customer perspective and see what are the biggest pain points for our customers,” said Desroches.

Instead of letting this deter them, local engineers designed a Ozo-flo faucet, which can be installed in existing sinks to add ozone to the water and help kill off bacteria.

“This is something that is going to be launched later this year. We are very excited about it,” said Desroches. “We think this is something that could solve a major problem in the health care community.”