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IMU Pharmacy Alumni Clinch Gold Medal in ITEX 2014

10 Jun 2014

9 May 2014 – In the recent years, the usage of smartphones among the people – young and old, has been very prominent all around the world and Malaysia, certainly is of no exception. For healthcare practitioners, smartphones have been proven to be useful tools to gain access to a massive load of medical information as the availability of information is just a few fingertips away. However, there is an intriguing fact about the hygiene of these smart devices where many would find it hard to believe – 1 out of 6 smartphones is contaminated with faecal content! Well, it may not be all so unbelievable after all since many would carry their smartphones to the toilet as well, isn’t it? Furthermore, smartphones owned by healthcare providers are under long exposure to unimaginable populations of bacteria in a hospital setting and this could be an inconspicuous reservoir of infection. Studies have shown that these mobile phones could transmit deadly pathogens among healthcare providers, warded patients and even to the community and family as those are most likely the same phones they would be bringing home. ITEX As part of the healthcare system, we, the Ipharm team, which consists of three registered practising pharmacists, Lau Dah Yun, Harvey Chow and Raymond Foo acknowledged the threat of contaminated smartphones to the patients as well as the public and began to think of any approaches to curb this problem. With determination, we devoted ourselves to address the problem – from garnering information from various sources to working closely and conscientiously with the engineering team, it took us almost a year to produce our first successful prototype – Stericase, a self-sterilising mobile phone cover. It integrates the UV technology in sterilizing the device automatically once it is flipped close. Weeks after filing our prototype patency, it is an accolade to announce that our innovation had been given positive reinforcement, encouragement and acknowledgment by clinching the gold medal in the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX) 2014. We did not let this little achievement serve as an excuse to rest on our laurels, but on the contrary it motivated us to work harder in the hope of raising awareness towards the imperativeness of hygiene amongst the people who lack exposure to health-related information. We have recently launched a free APP (Application) for smart devices that serve to provide various interesting facts about smartphone hygiene, hoping the people would be more mindful about this issue. We would like everyone to help us convey the message. Together we support phone hygiene. Article is contributed by Lau Dah Yun, an IMU Alumnus. The I Pharm team are Runner-ups at Invention and Innovation Awards 2014 earlier this year. Related article: IMU’s School of Pharmacy Research Team Won Silver Medal at ITEX 2019 IMU Lecturer and Team Won Silver Medal at ITEX    

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