The medical market accounts for 20% of Anders active project business model. So, whilst it’s not quite as large a percentage as the industrial market, it is one we’ve been operating in for 30 years and continues to grow year-on-year as display technology embeds itself into this industry.
In March 2020, as COVID-19 gripped the world, we had a front row seat as we witnessed how our medical customers transformed their operations to quickly pivot to seek solutions. The manufacturing of ventilator equipment is one example that we are all familiar with.
Whilst Anders experienced the postponement of projects in their early 2020 pipelines, resources were made available to work with medical partners.
More information on the activities that we’ve been involved in, in the fight against COVID-19, can be found here: https://www.andersdx.com/vital-support-for-covid-medical-devices/.
Seeing early on the impact the pandemic would have on our daily lives, our working lives and future business, we placed dedicated engineering experience and expertise, to research and develop ways to make touchscreen technology safer for the end-user to utilise.
What to do about touchscreens, when people don't want to touch anything?
When COVID hit, one of the first things I thought was, Crikey, we are in an industry where we are promoting touchscreen technology – just when people don’t want to touch anything!
Touchscreen technology has become a global norm, as people intuitively interact with devices in their day-to-day routines. Then along came COVID-19, with the mantra, wash, wash, wash your hands if you touch anything. In March 2020, I recall thinking, “wow, if this virus is going to be as bad as they predict it is going to be, it’s going to adversely affect our business for a long time.” This made me determined to find a solution and put me on a path to research special films or protection to go over the front of a touchscreen that would make it safer to touch, and bring confidence to the customers.
I had seen a couple of films that claimed to be anti-bacterial, and as I examined the specs, I asked myself a very specific question, constantly, "Will it protect against human coronavirus?" This diligence led us to Kastus, a company based in Ireland. Kastus have developed a solution, which is an antibacterial coating that is applied to the glass which will last the lifetime of the product. And YES, it’s effective against human coronavirus – result!
The end result of our research and development is that we have partnered with Kastus and we are actively promoting this solution to all of Anders customers. Everyone has a duty to help control the spread of this virus. 2020 has taught us to always be prepared and to be more conscious. Even if one can control this particular strain of the virus, there is something waiting, a variant of some sort, to take its place. If we can protect our user interfaces, then we protect our customers and our customers’ customers.
Of course, this solution is now applied to our touchscreen technology entering the market, but what about the technology already in existence today? Think about your day, how many displays do you touch? Typically, from five to ten on a normal day. The good news is that we can supply our customer with this solution as a screen protector to be retro fitted to the display already in use or production.
Kastus ® starts working immediately against human coronavirus, showing significant results after only 2 minutes. The illustration below shows lab validated kill rates over time for a Kastus coated surface vs. a non coated surface.
2020 challenged us all in many different ways, but what kept me awake at night was the search for a solution to protect the technology that I’ve worked for over 25 years to help engineer and develop, whilst protecting the people who engage with it. Many sleepless nights led us to Kastus, and Kastus led us to a solution that I believe will erode everyone’s touchscreen fear. To have been part of this supply chain has been one of the most important breakthroughs in my long career in this industry.