Technology Briefing: UV Room Disinfection Devices

September 10, 2020 | Evaluations & Guidance


Here's a briefing on UV room disinfection devices, outlining the key considerations for making wise purchasing decisions. **We review how and where the technology is used, which applications it is best suited to, the strength of the evidence to support its use, and more.

UV room disinfection devices emit ultraviolet light, most commonly in the UVC wavelength range, to disinfect nonporous surfaces and reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). These devices are intended for use in healthcare or other commercial industries; they are not intended for consumer or home use.

To be considered in this category, a product must emit a germicidal wavelength of UV light at energy levels (i.e., UV doses) that have been shown to inactivate pathogens on, at minimum, high-touch surfaces. The devices are intended for use as an adjunct to manual cleaning and disinfection.

UV light has been used for decades for water treatment. Portable UV towers have been available since the late 2000s, and have gained traction in recent years. Based on quotes and requests received by ECRI, interest in these and other infection prevention devices appears to have increased in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The technology is relatively stable, but incremental improvements, such as improved ease of use, shorter cycle times, and more sophisticated web portals, continue to occur. Some manufacturers have also taken more innovative approaches designed to improve consistency of UV coverage within a room.

The major components of these systems include:

  1. One or more mercury or xenon lamps that emit UV light

  2. A movable tower...

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