Will Coronavirus mark a new age of cleaning, driven by technology and science?

Posted by Edward Jonkler on August 30, 2020

With COVID-19 and its destructive wake forcibly stimulating innovation in retail, leisure and workplace hygiene, product development experts Oakland Innovation have produced a report that predicts that science-led approaches will underline the efficiency of cleaning products and strategies in the future. 

As a result of the enormous scale of the pandemic on global health, Oakland anticipate that the heightened consumer awareness of the importance of hygiene, both inside and outside the home, will continue well after the pandemic has passed, to become a long-lasting trend. 

As was to be expected, the pandemic also drove extensive research across the globe into the nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, with scientists working to understand its survival on various materials and in different environments, and the viruses transferability to humans. 

This new research, combined with the general public’s heightened awareness of hygiene, has create a fertile environment for ground-breaking innovation in the world of cleaning strategies. 

Oakland’s report explores research that has been undertaken since the start of the pandemic in order to help quell COVID-19, alongside new and emerging research that will begin as a result of it. 

They predict that product manufacturers that collaborate with expert third parties to unlock scientific understanding could help to fast-track effective solutions that will inspire public confidence.

Chemicals currently form the backbone of the personal hygiene and home cleaning product market, but it is expected that future scientific innovation may involve a variety of different strategies.

For example, new chemistries that can improve a product by adding sensory cues so the user can tell when a surface has been properly cleaned. 

Some examples of these new and emerging, chemical, physical and biological technologies include:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour by Bioquell from the UK (commonly used in hospitals and known to kill coronaviruses)
  • Antimicrobial polymer coating developed by Hong Kong University Science and Technology department (proven to prevent viral adhesion to surfaces and kill 99.9% of bacteria, it has been used to coat air-particulate filters in a hospital in Wuhan to kill Coronavirus)
  • Autonomous robots that use UV light to kill COVID-19 developed by the Danish company UVD Robots (Used to disinfect patient rooms in hospitals by using short wavelength ultraviolet lightwaves that can destroy coronaviruses, also used in Wuhan during the pandemic)
  • Anti-Pathogen fabric by Israeli company Sonovia (uses nanoparticles infused onto textiles to help block bacteria and funghi, it is currently being tested against COVID-19 in China)

In the wake of coronavirus and the inevitable uncertainty of what the future holds in terms of future outbreaks, it seems clear that an intent for protection against future pandemics will continue across commerce, government and society. 

With these new and emerging technologies as key examples of this intent, Oakland Innovation predict that the brands that develop the most effective solutions and innovations based on collaborative ecosystems, such as harnessing the newest scientific discoveries, are likely to lead the future market for these products. 

You can read Oakland Innovation’s full report here.

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