The pandemic caused by COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has one of its critical points in the high probability of contagion between humans. That is why, since the start of the pandemic, the health authorities of the different affected countries have placed emphasis on trying to prevent transmission by direct contact between people, implementing measures such as minimum separation between inhabitants and confinement in our houses.
The other great type of transmission is by indirect contact with contaminated objects or surfaces or with the presence of the virus. This transmission is more complicated to avoid because it fights against the subconscious and daily habits, such as touching your face with your hands. It should be keep in mind that the virus can last up to three days, depending on the surface material, so the virus’s ability to spread by indirect contact is very high.
Due to the activation of the containment measures applied in most of the countries affected by COVID-19, certain exceptions have been established to leave our home, and in addition, health personnel are obliged to live with situations of high risk of infection. If the possibility of spread by indirect contacts is minimized in the multiple actions that are carried out outside our homes, we will be fighting the pandemic passively.
During the day each person makes multiple contacts in common areas, and therefore transmission focus. Currently, it can be categorized into 3 large groups of people at risk of transmission by indirect contact with the virus.
Firstly, the health personnel who are fighting with all their efforts to save lives, exposing themselves to being infected, but at the same time being able to transmit by indirect contact within the hospitals themselves. Often they can be pressing elevator switches or buttons, opening doors, etc., and can carry out up to 480 iterations throughout the day. The option of changing gloves every time one of these contacts is made would be impossible, and would also involve an unaffordable expense of resources.
Second, despite the state of alarm in any country, there are people who must go to work, such as the delivery people of a transport company, who can make more than 150 deliveries a day, opening doors for different recipients, going up elevators, pressing doorbells u switches etc. These workers could carry out about 930 iterations of indirect contact per day, and could become a great vector or transmitter of the virus.
Finally, any person who is in confinement and who leaves their home to carry out any of the permitted activities, simply by using the elevator, opening and closing the front door, pressing the light switches, and paying at the supermarket in the POS by inserting the pin, it could make a minimum of 14 contacts.
It is useless to make these indirect contacts with gloves, since those same gloves end up contacting various surfaces that later will touch themselves or others without protection, or even subconsciously touching the face with the gloves on.
Since the beginning of this CORONAVIRUS-crisis, we have put our efforts and engineering resources in the search for solutions to help reduce the spread of the virus, focusing especially on solutions for reducing the probability of indirect contagion. That is, the contagion in which surfaces or objects intervene between humans: door and window handles, elevator push buttons, telephones and video door phones, ATMs, trains, buses, POS terminals in supermarkets and other facilities, etc.
Since the beginning of this crisis in collaboration with Dativic, we have been working on the development of LU_Touch, a tool for opening and closing doors and windows, and a push-button for switches used on a daily basis. For the correct use of LU_Touch, three holes have been enabled either to be used either hanging around the neck or from the waist. In addition, the ergonomic design makes it easy to operate with just three fingers, with a grip area completely separated from the contact area. It is important to disinfect it from time to time using preferably 70% alcohol solutions, or failing it bleach or soap.
In order to combat the COVID-19 virus, we share to all 3D printers community the validated model for 3D printing in FDM, SLA or SLS technologies, under the Creative Commons license so that globally we can contribute each of us one more barrier to slow the advance of the pandemic.