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OttoClave (the name of both company and product) is redefining clean surgery in the developing world. We’re passionate about bringing effective medical technologies to areas where they are needed most. To this end, we have created OttoClave, an innovative medical instrument sterilization system for resource limited health clinics. Postoperative wound infection prevalence can be as high as 30% in these settings. A significant contributor to this is the use of unsterile medical instruments on patients, even though autoclaving, the process of fully sterilizing instruments has been around for over 130 years. In these areas, water boilers are the primary method for sterilization, but this is ineffective, only cleaning instruments as much as the knife and fork you would find in any restaurant. Postoperative infections caused by these tools are a risk that billions of people in developing countries unknowingly face during childbirth and simple surgical procedures. These infections can have grave consequences for the health and wellbeing of those infected, as well as creating huge costs for already strained healthcare systems.
Autoclaves do exist in these areas, but sit gathering dust. The two principal reasons for this are, the irregularity of electricity in these remote health posts, and their complexity. Employees responsible for sterilization are typically the least trained staff at a given health post. Using a piece of complicated machinery is time consuming and intimidating, especially when the alternative is to toss the instruments in a hot water bath for fifteen minutes. Next door, however, pressure cookers are used every day to prepare dinner.
OttoClave brings pressure cookers, which can completely sterilize medical instruments, and that everyone knows how to use, from the kitchen to the clinic. We do this through a novel monitoring system. Our monitor connects to a pressure cooker, allowing it to talk to health poste employees, educating them on sterile procedure, giving directions during sterilization and providing assurance that instruments were cleaned properly. It can give instructions in any language and was extremely well received in Nepal, where the only electronics that speak Nepali are the television or radio. This system makes sterilization as simple and convenient as possible. Utilizing a pressure cooker also removed dependency on electricity, making it extremely accessible to even the remotest clinics.