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Light disinfection technology works in various healthcare environments

By Brian Buntz | December 3, 2020

Juganu, an Israeli startup, has developed a smart indoor light technology to fight against COVID-19.

The company’s J. Protect technology offers the potential to protect pharmaceutical professionals in laboratories and other settings against the novel coronavirus and other pathogens.

The company has recently begun several pilot programs with leading health institutions after clinically validating its potential to fight pathogens at the Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Medicine in Israel.

UVC light, in particular, has received significant attention this year, given its potential to sanitize a variety of indoor environments. The light spectrum, however, can potentially cause skin burns and eye injuries, according to the FDA.

Juganu sidesteps this problem by using longer wavelength UVA light, which has the lowest energy amount among UV rays. There is “no risk for people under this light,” said Eran Ben-Shmuel, co-founder and CEO of Juganu. “But UVA radiation manages to penetrate the outer shell of viruses and bacteria and destroy them.”

The UVA light can inactivate airborne viruses after eight hours of exposure. By contrast, the UVC mode can disinfect a room in a matter of minutes.

UVA light is present in sunlight and, in sufficient doses, can cause skin cancer. But the amount of UVA Juganu’s technology produces is significantly less than what safety regulations allow.

The lighting has received an exemption from the FDA and is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency in 48 states.

Juganu’s J. Protect technology, which can integrate with traditional LED lighting, can also use UVC lighting when rooms are unoccupied. That is, its UVA light offers continuous disinfection while UVC light can kick in to accelerate disinfection after occupants have left a room.

Founded in 2011, the company has raised $18 million in a Series C funding round led by Comcast Ventures.

In addition to targeting healthcare, Juganu plans on marketing the technology to schools, hotels, restaurants, airports, retail locations and other businesses.

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