With positive news of multiple vaccines either receiving or expecting Health Canada approval, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 pandemic. As a country, we still have a way to go before we get there, though. Social distancing and mask wearing protocols, for example, will remain a part of the near-term future, but technologies developed in York Region are positioned to be game changers in helping businesses get staff back to the office safely.
Headquartered in Markham, Lind Equipment has developed Apollo: a portable UVC Light Emitting Diode (LED) system designed to kill different viruses – including SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. This claim doesn’t come just from the company, but was validated by the well-respected ImPaKT Lab at Western University in London, Ontario. Their tests revealed that the UVC LED system effectively kills 99.99% of SARS-CoV-2.
It’s the first technology of this kind in Canada proven to be effective in killing the COVID-19 virus and is already being used by the Government of Canada within their workspaces.
“We are excited to bring rigorous scientific methods to show that this Apollo UVC LED can effectively kill the COVID-19 virus. Use of this product to decontaminate enclosed spaces or surfaces could have an important impact on the pandemic.” said Eric Arts, Executive Director of Western University’s ImPaKT Lab and Canada Research Chair in HIV Pathogenesis and Viral Control at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.
According to Brian Astl, President of Lind Equipment, “this test verifies that our Apollo UVC LED decontamination system can be a powerful tool to kill SARS-CoV-2, whether in the air or on surfaces. This proven strong performance will allow many industries to make their shared spaces safer both in this pandemic and beyond as they look to a broader infection control mandate.”
The portability of this technology and its proven effectiveness could play a key role in helping other businesses return to the office sooner. And when used alongside social distancing and mask wearing – safer.
Other Canadian technologies are sure to follow, but York Region-based tech companies have certainly been leading tech innovation in the fight against COVID-19.
Other examples include Vaughan headquartered Kontrol Energy’s BioCloud technology, which detects the airborne presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in indoor spaces and is now set for global distribution. Richmond Hill headquartered FaceDrive Health’s TraceSCAN technology utilizes wearable devices to assist with contact tracing and has been in use by Air Canada to help protect employees and passengers.
The pilot project was deemed so successful that Air Canada will continue deploying TraceSCAN well into 2021. This technology is also backed by research from the University of Waterloo, which shows that the use of artificial intelligence can assist in contract tracing of up to the 4th degree when a user tests positive for COVID-19.
The innovations developed in York Region are not limited to these three companies, but they are a great representation of the #YRtech community at large. Their commitment to the rapid commercialization and deployment of their technologies is helping Canadians stay safe while on the job and is getting others back to work sooner rather than later. That deserves to be celebrated.