Akara to trial its disinfection software at an Estonian hospital

15 Nov 2022

Image: © karrastock/Stock.adobe.com

Akara formed a partnership with Tartu University Hospital earlier this year after taking part in an EIT Health accelerator.

Irish robotics start-up Akara has partnered with an Estonian hospital to help with disinfection using software.

As part of a memorandum of understanding, an Akara software application will be trialled with workers at Tartu University Hospital later this year.

While Akara is known for its robotics, the start-up has also developed a platform to help workers manage cleaning tasks. The company said this platform helps eliminate paperwork, save time and improve transparency.

Tartu University Hospital hopes the platform will assist staff in cleaning and disinfection procedures by digitally logging cleaning tasks in real time.

This is the first time Akara’s software will be deployed live outside of a test site in Ireland.

The partnership was forged earlier this year when Akara joined 15 other companies on the Start-Ups Meet Healthcare Providers accelerator. This was run by EIT Health, the EU-funded network of European health-focused innovators that provides funding, training, mentorship and networking opportunities.

“Akara’s futuristic software has capability to reduce patient wait times, improve transparency associated with clinical disinfection, and alleviate pressure on cleaning staff by eliminating paperwork,” said EIT Health’s interim MD for Ireland and the UK, Graham Armitage.

Akara was spun out of Trinity College Dublin in 2019 and has focused on developing AI and robots for the healthcare sector. This started out with Stevie, a social care robot designed to interact with older people and help in nursing homes and retirement communities.

In 2020, the start-up revealed Violet, which could autonomously navigate a room and disinfect it using ultraviolet light. Working with the HSE, the robot has been deployed at Irish hospitals.

Last month, the start-up revealed that one of its decontamination robots was being tested in a UK hospital, with early results suggesting it can enable more medical procedures by reducing the downtime of critical hospital rooms.

Akara founder Dr Conor McGinn said participating in the EIT Health accelerator helped the start-up develop a relationship with “a target hospital and potential user of our core technology”.

“Insights gained from Tartu University Hospital stakeholders helped inform key elements of our business model and go-to-market strategy,” McGinn said.

“Tartu is regarded a research and innovation powerhouse in Europe, so we are proud to have since signed an MoU to begin a trial of our technology within the hospital.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic