Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Ultraviolet disinfection robots to improve hospital cleaning_ Real promise or just a gimmick_.pdf (603.9 kB)

Ultraviolet disinfection robots to improve hospital cleaning: real promise or just a gimmick?

Download (603.9 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-03-04, 15:53 authored by Magda Diab-El Schahawi, Walter Zingg, Margreet Vos, Hilary HumphreysHilary Humphreys, Lorena Lopez-Cerero, Astrid Fueszl, Jean Ralph Zahar, Elisabeth Presterl, ESCMID Study Group on Nosocomial Infections “The decontamination research working group”
The global COVID-19 pandemic due to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has challenged the availability of traditional surface disinfectants. It has also stimulated the production of ultraviolet-disinfection robots by companies and institutions. These robots are increasingly advocated as a simple solution for the immediate disinfection of rooms and spaces of all surfaces in one process and as such they seem attractive to hospital management, also because of automation and apparent cost savings by reducing cleaning staff. Yet, there true potential in the hospital setting needs to be carefully evaluated. Presently, disinfection robots do not replace routine (manual) cleaning but may complement it. Further design adjustments of hospitals and devices are needed to overcome the issue of shadowing and free the movement of robots in the hospital environment. They might in the future provide validated, reproducible and documented disinfection processes. Further technical developments and clinical trials in a variety of hospitals are warranted to overcome the current limitations and to find ways to integrate this novel technology in to the hospitals of to-day and the future.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Diab-El Schahawi M. et al. Ultraviolet disinfection robots to improve hospital cleaning: real promise or just a gimmick? Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10(1):33

Publication Date

12 February 2021

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Clinical Microbiology


Springer Nature


  • Published Version (Version of Record)