Accurate Imaging Resources has released antimicrobial screen protectors that can be used on anything with a screen.
Accurate Films are screen protectors that have the added benefit of being coated with materials that prevent the growth of bacteria on your touch screen. This feature would be especially beneficial to healthcare workers, whose mobile devices have been shown to the carriers of pathogenic bacteria in the hospital setting.
As we see increasing emergence and in-hospital spread of resistant and pathogenic organisms, infection control has become a critical issue. With some small series suggesting that even our ties can be vehicles for these bad bugs, its not hard to imagine how mobile devices could become offenders as well.
A study done by the NHS showed that the mobile phones of physicians do carry pathogenic bacteria, and that the bacterial load on those phones could be decreased by 79% by using simple cleaning techniques (such as cleaning with isopropyl alcohol).
Unfortunately, Accurate Imaging Resources does not tell us exactly how these films are antimicrobial or to what extent they decrease the burden of bacteria on our devices. They do state that the product meets the ISO 22196 standard; according to the ISO.org website, this standard “specifies a method of evaluating the antibacterial activity of antibacterial-treated plastics, and other non-porous, surfaces of products (including intermediate products).” Its worth noting though that another section of the website recommends against the use of alcohol-based cleaning solutions with these films.
Emerging polymers and metal alloys that have been demonstrated to be resistant to bacterial colonization or even bacteriacidal suggests that it should be possible to similarly develop a bacteria-resistant film.
Before rushing out to myself one though, I would like to see a study done on the effectiveness of these film on their own and as compared to other films and no film at all.
1. Brady RR, Chitnis S, Stewart RW, Graham C, Yalamarthi S, Morris K. NHS connecting for health: healthcare professionals, mobile technology, and infection control. Telemed J E Health. 2012 May; 18(4):289-91.