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Healthy Textile

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Healthy Textile (Healthy Textile)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-07-31

It is estimated that 4 million EU citizens acquire Hospital Acquired Infections [HAI] each each and roughly 100 thousand of them die as a result of such acquisitions. Furthermore, the annual financial burden on the EU is estimated at 7 Billion EUR.
HAI has long been considered a global pandemic with limited available solutions to mitigate the problem. The main cause for the problem is harmful bacterial growth within hospital wards, such the the MRSA bacteria, while Hospital textiles are among the greatest incubators of bacteria.

Large mitigation of the HAI problem will lead to:
- Additional available funds by the Healthcare systems to invest in productive initiatives
- Contribution to the economy due to expected reduction of hospitalisation days
- Largely decreasing the death toll

The Healthy-Textiles project presents, for the 1st time in history, a mass market viable, sustainable, cost-effective, high-performing, and industrial laundry durable Anti-bacterial Textile coating which have been validated in the past to contribute to the significant reduction of bacterial contamination among patients wearing the treated textiles. In this project, Healthy-Textiles is working on scaling-up the technology so as to fully commercialise it by the project end.

The overall objectives are:
- Developing a ready-to-market product [machine + chemistry] which can enable the continuous processing of fabrics while maintaining the same performance across hundreds of thousands of running meters
- Completing an additional clinical trial with a Tier-1 hospital
- Completing a trial with an Industrial laundry to prove the ability to reduce heat and duration time of the laundry for the sanitation of the Textiles, due to Healthy-Textile's coating [cost reduction, material reduction, carbon emissions reduction]
- Full scale commercialisation
In year one of the project we've completed the design and assembly of our pilot industrial Sono-machine and have run multiple industrial trials. After thorough analysis of our first set of industrial trials, we re-evaluated the In-situ chemistry route we were operating under and pivoted to focusing on ready-made nano particles as it enables us to achieve a more stable formulation and even and consistent level of coating at lab-scale trials. This chemistry route will be implemented in industrial trials and will be the focus of the 2nd year of the project.
"In the 1st year of the project, Healthy Textile focused on the ""In-situ"" chemistry and technological route, in which Anti-microbial ZnO nano-particles are being formed and deposited onto the fabric simultaneously. Due to process control challenges with the In-situ technological route, Healthy Textile had made a pivot to the ""throwing stones"" chemistry and process route, in which in-house developed chemical formulations containing Anti-microbial ZnO nano particles are being used. This shift had proven itself to be of very high potential, both in terms of output performance, that is durability to washings and Anti-microbial efficacy, as well as in terms of process control.

The new technological route is beyond ""state-of-the-art"", and Healthy Textile expects to finalise the scaling-up of the technology while focusing on the ""throwing stones"" chemistry and process, expected to result in the ability to commercialise the technology by the end of the project under an ""HP"" business model, in which the Sono-machine will be a one time CAPEX, and Healthy Textile's chemistry will be the consumable being continuously acquired by the customers.

In the EU and the European Economic Area [EEA], in Long Term Care Facilities alone, the estimated number of Hospital Acquired Infections [HAI] is 4.4 million, annually. An interesting finding was that there are as many HAI in Long Term Care Facilities as there are in Acute Care Hospitals, and that more attention needs to be directed towards the mitigation of HAI in those facilities as well. Such infections account for an estimated 33k attributable deaths and 875k Disability Adjusted Life Year [DALY], which is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death. The burden for the EU and EEA was highest in infants (aged <1 year) and people aged 65 years or older. The annual direct economic burden on the EU Healthcare system is estimated at 7 Billion EUR.

Global HAI monitoring is largely absent, and largely present in the developed economies. Attempt to quantify the societal economic impact [In-direct burden] of HAI is challenging. One attempt to measure HAI costs from a societal perspective in the U.S was carried out by researchers Marchetti and Rossiter. They found that the annual direct medical costs of hospital HAIs ranged from $34 billion to $74 billion, while the additional social costs of HAIs, which included lost wages for incapacitation and premature death, ranged from $62 billion to $73 billion, meaning that the total economic burden in the U.S [Direct + In-direct] amounts to between $96 Billion to $147 Billion. Analysis of the In-direct economic burden in the EU was not found. The role of healthcare apparel and other healthcare textiles in the transmission of pathogens is increasingly researched and evaluated, as those substrates are known as prone for bacterial and viral growth. Although complete mitigation of the HAI problem could not be done solely via Anti-microbial and Anti-viral Textiles, they are a significant part of a complete risk-reduction strategy for those institutions. Even as low as a 5% reduction in HAI cases would result in approx. 10 Billion euro in annual savings for the Healthcare system and the economy in the EU and the U.S. and will save tens of thousands of citizens from HAI, prolonged hospitalization, and associated death."