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Medical water purifiers: Everything you need to know

June 08, 2021 5 min read

Hospitals continue to rely on age-old testing methods for procuring water purifiers without considering the ongoing costs of traditional technologies.

Problems of Medical Water Purifiers

Medical grade water ensures safe procedures, longer lasting equipment and better patient care. The global COVID pandemic and rising attention to climate change have put extra focus on sanitation.

As COVID-19 is relatively recently discovered, research is still being performed to determine  its viability, survival time, and transmission pathways, and particularly its inactivation by conventional disinfection methods.  Every disinfectant  method has its advantages and its limitations; when dealing with new pathogens the standard approach is to augment current disinfection practices and then apply multiple barriers.

With the increasing varieties of pollutants and contaminants found in water sources, medical facilities are experiencing a gradual shift in acceptance of new forms of water purification and development of higher quality water standards.

In this guide we explain what customers need to know about medical water purifiers,the main technology traps buyers fall into, what to look out for, and how to ‘future proof’ water facilities.

 

How customers usually buy:

Conductivity, salinity, and TDS meters are the three standard measures for analyzing water quality that water purification companies use to show the purity of their water. However, these companies advertise their products according to measurements taken on their devices when they are newly out-of-the-box. They neglect to include in their calculations the deterioration of removable parts. Membrane fouling , for example, can occur as little as 30 days after first use and drastically affects the content of the purified water produced. This information is not usually shown to consumers.

Medical water purifiers also traditionally follow a razor and blade business model that hooks facilities with low advertised CAPEX costs and then generates large long term revenues with higher OPEX from replacement parts and servicing fees. These OPEX costs are difficult to calculate when purchasing, as frequency and cost of the replacement parts can depend on the quality of the water the local area.  Medical facilities can end up spending thousands more a year than planned, and cause detrimental environmental effects through the high carbon cost of these replacement devices. 

When choosing a water purification device it is critical to focus on the long term quality of the water and the total cost of ownership, both monetary and environmental .

The three things to consider when buying water purifiers

The right purifier will increase customer care and reduce OPEX.

A good water purifier should cover three elements

1) consistent quality over time

2) no foul-able replacement parts

3) intelligentpredictive maintenance

 

Consistent quality over time:

Traditional medical water purifiers use Reverse Osmosis filters and membranes which start to degrade from day one, reducing the water quality daily until they are replaced. 

Even the most well maintained water purifiers experience decreased quality in water output. This decreased purity is compounded by natural fluctuations in the quality of the source water.

To produce consistent water, medical facilities need to move away from degenerating technologies. Evaporation provides complete consistency as there are no deteriorating replacement parts. This is why distillation technology provides more consistent purity over time.

To produce consistent water consumers must look away from degenerating technologies.

Distillation technology provides consistently pure water over long periods of time. It uses the process of evaporation which requires no replacement parts and reduces waste.

Compare Water Purification Systems: Water Distillation vs Reverse Osmosis -  My Pure Water

No foul-able replacement parts:

 

Bacteria can grow in filters and membranes and cause fouling. This means that purifiers can produce water that is contaminated. It is vital that filters and membranes are monitored and replaced promptly, and knowing how to check for damaged membranes is an important skill. Membrane fouling can obscure membrane damage, and no system can be perfectly monitored. Replacement parts are also the largest cost for traditional water purifiers.

Additionally the consistent availability of replacement parts is a requirement for properly functioning purifiers. "The availability of high assets depends to a large extent on having an adequate level of spare parts in the warehouses." (Duran 2019). Any situation that causes parts to be unavailable or more expensive can directly lead to overuse and bacteria fouling.

Technology that does not require replacement parts removes the chance of bacteria build up and considerably reduces the OPEX. 

Isolation and characterization of microorganism involved in membrane  biofouling - WUR

Intelligentpredictive maintenance;

Most purifiers on the market rely on estimated maintenance schedules which do not take into account the quality of use of each individual system. This is because it is impossible to tell which filter or membrane within a complicated system is fouled or causing issues, so it is better to be safe and replace everything at once. Estimated schedules mean that filters and membranes are either underused costing the facility significantly over time and increasing their carbon output, or overused which can lead to fouling, loss in performance and reduced water quality. 

Systems that have intelligent predictive maintenance and can show the real time cleaning requirements of a device, save time and money over the lifetime of the device, and ensure that definitively pure water is delivered consistently over time.

Timoo Hospital Medical 3000lph Ro Water Purification Systems Water  Treatment Machine In Preparation Room - Buy Ro Water Treatment Plant,Medical  Water Treatment,Purification Water Equipment Product on Alibaba.com

Why Novus ticks these boxes: 

  • Consistent quality over time - Only Novus purifiers have MVCD™ technology, to pull the water vapour from the source water providing only water vapour on the first and 100th day of use.
  • No foul-able replacement parts - removing all needs for membrane and filters that can fail removes the chance of bacteria growth in deteriorating membranes.
  • Intelligent predictive maintenance - Novus senses and reports automatically with all of its products. Two water quality sensors measure the intake and outtake qualities in real time to ensure trustworthy water quality all of the time.

Technology quick comparison

Consistent quality over time;

No foul-able bacteria growing replacement parts;

Intelligentpredictive maintenance;

Filtration

X

X

X

Reverse Osmosis

X

X

X

Deionisation

X

X

X

Distillation

Y
Y

X

Vapour Compression Distillation

Y
Y
Y

The future of the water purifier market in medicine

The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of healthcare. There is now a keener eye being cast over medical supply chains with the goal of future proofing wherever possible. Consistent quality of water over time will become a higher priority with unimpeachable purity and low carbon cost becoming top criteria. 

Increasingly, medical facilities want high performing machines that are well designed, easy to use, and built to last. New technology will solve the problems presented by the current industry standards and greatly improve the quality and consistency of healthcare provision.

 

 

Citations:

https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/7/1835

 

 



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