Client & Alumni News

LifeAire’s Technology Purifies Air at St. Luke’s Allentown

A passion for pure air links St. Luke’s with local entrepreneur Kathryn Worrilow, PhD, in a win-win partnership that benefits patients, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. It began in 2017 when Dr. Worrilow’s company, Ben Franklin client LifeAire Systems, designed and installed an experimental air purification system serving 14 patient rooms on the fifth floor of St. Luke’s Allentown. This advanced technology sterilizes the air flowing through the HVAC system, removing or neutralizing all pathogens – including the COVID-19 coronavirus – that might otherwise infect patients recovering on the unit from illness or surgery.

Dr. Worrilow and LifeAire, the Allentown company she founded and runs, developed the air purification technology originally for the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process, then innovatively adapted it for use in the air handling units in hospitals like St. Luke’s. Pathogen-free air is essential for creating and sustaining life, making it ideal for IVF as well as for protecting patients while they heal.

Earlier this year as COVID-19 spread, LifeAire added a second system on the fifth floor to purify air inflow to the remaining 16 rooms of the unit. This fortunate and timely addition to the hospital came at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, introducing a technology that has the power to destroy the novel coronavirus that has claimed approximately 140,000 American lives so far this year.

The measurable clinical benefits of the air purification system installed in 2017 are impressive: patient lengths of stay dropped nearly 40%, making hospitalizations 23% less costly, according to an internal review of preliminary data. More via St. Luke’s University Health Network.