Even before the world changed with Covid-19, the use of contactless technology had been on a gradual rise. Over time, it became normal and even expected to have a phone with inbuilt voice recognition and finger or face identification, as well as cars with similar voice automated features. In fact, contactless systems have quickly become the favoured choice, especially as they offer a more hygienic option. Contactless elements can also be applied to the decontamination process within dental practices. This type of technology enables professionals to monitor and control relevant appliances, making the whole decontamination process more efficient and hygienic.
Contactless to Keep
During the pandemic, dental surgeries have been one of the many businesses to adapt their procedures in order to keep patients and staff safe. One way they did and continue to do this is by implementing the contactless patient journey, which allows patients to book their appointment and complete paperwork online. Patients would also be required to wait outside until being notified it is their turn, meaning that the amount of time they spend in contact with others is minimalised, significantly lowering the threat of virus transmission.
Moving forwards, some of these contactless solutions are likely to be kept. While dental practices have been modified for marginal viral exposure, this system will ultimately decrease any outstanding risk of contracting pathogens from asymptomatic patients. Another advantage is the potential to control the spread of seasonal viruses such as the flu, along with the common cold. As such, though this contactless system was originally designed for covid, it does present many benefits which can be optimised.
When it comes to everyday actions, scientists have been advising people for many years to wash their hands after touching specific objects, such as any type of handle or button. Statistics have shown that even after being cleaned, 20 per cent of bacteria remains on a door handle in a home. It is logical that due to larger volumes of people in public areas, more bacteria will be present on door handles outside the home, posing a further risk of somebody contracting an illness. By using sensor technology for contactless systems, such as automatic doors and bathroom taps, these risks can almost be completely eliminated.
Apps have now been developed to enable individuals to avoid large groups of people at once, which is likely something that until recently, had never been brought to most people’s attention. For example, a feature of several gym apps displays how many people are currently inside the building. Similarly, for students who have to share a small washing room, an app allows them to track when a washing machine is free to use, thus eliminating any situation of having to wait in an enclosed room with others.
Apps can also be used to monitor health and nutrition. Through a single app, an individual has the potential to successfully record how many steps they do every day as well as keep track of their heart rate and sleep patterns. Similar apps are available for people to record their food intake which can be especially effective for those wishing to lose or gain weight, or generally improve their health and wellbeing.
In the dental practice, a further example of this is the instrumental tracer included in the Lisa Sterilizer from W&H. Particularly relevant during the last year, this feature enables its users to trace single instruments through an app, eliminating the need for any paper handling, which would naturally carry the risk of housing different pathogens. This app also allows someone to control and monitor the status of the autoclaves and their processes from a distance for optimal convenience.
While a contactless way of life will not be the answer to everything, there are some solutions which could play an important role as we all learn to live with Covid-19 and beyond.