The development and release of Ethos® Automated Ultrasound Probe Cleaner Disinfector, designed to automate cleaning and high-level disinfection of transvaginal, transrectal, and surface ultrasound probes, marks a significant achievement for the engineers and scientists at CS Medical. This innovative device represents a leap forward in ultrasound probe reprocessing technology, offering enhanced efficiency, safety, and reliability for transvaginal, transrectal and surface ultrasound probes. Dawn Pierson, Laboratory Manager, predicted, “Having a machine that automates cleaning and disinfects all in one will be a game changer for the industry.” The profound impact of Ethos extends beyond its practical benefits, as it showcases the remarkable inventiveness and dedication of the professionals who brought this cutting-edge solution to life.
The creation of Ethos stands as a testament to the ingenuity and technical prowess of the engineers who developed it. These professionals faced the challenge of designing a device capable of thoroughly cleaning and high-level disinfecting various types of ultrasound probes with precision and effectiveness. Director of Engineering, John Jans, was especially proud to note that, “Ethos is the first CS Medical product that was developed entirely by myself and my engineering team. There were no functioning prototypes to work from.” They dedicated countless hours to research, development, and testing to overcome the complexities associated with diverse probe designs and stringent regulatory requirements set out by the FDA.
Engineers behind Ethos applied their expertise and desire to make a difference to develop a device that optimizes cleaning while ensuring probe integrity and patient safety. “I’ve always wanted to do something that makes a difference in the world. That aspiration is something that drove me to pursue Engineering,” said Andrew Fiest, Mechanical Engineer. They tackled challenges, such as achieving consistent and uniform distribution of disinfectant, compatibility with probe materials, and streamlining the process to minimize turnaround time. With meticulous attention to detail and a deep understanding of reprocessing guidelines, our engineers transformed ideas into a tangible solution that promises to revolutionize ultrasound probe reprocessing.
CS Medical’s scientists conducted extensive research on disinfection agents and methods, exploring their efficacy against a wide range of microorganisms while maintaining compatibility with probe materials. They worked to identify optimal concentration, exposure time, and temperature to achieve thorough disinfection without compromising probe integrity.
According to Mark Hoffmann, Embedded Systems Engineer, Ethos has been in the works for years. Without the strong collaboration between engineers and scientists, there would be no Ethos today. Their joint efforts have resulted in a cutting-edge medical device that delivers exceptional performance in ultrasound probe reprocessing.
Why They Do It
The release of Ethos holds immense potential to transform healthcare practices surrounding ultrasound probe reprocessing and significantly improve patient safety. Adair Avila, Lab Technician, explained why Ethos’ timing could not be better: “It gets more human error out of the way in a space where it is really needed right now in the medical industry. The safer everyone is, the better.” The device’s advanced cleaning and high-level disinfection capabilities reduce the risk of cross-contamination and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), safeguarding patients undergoing ultrasound examinations.
Dr. Dan Martone, CS Medical’s Chief Chemist, explained why developing Ethos was of paramount importance: “I conducted a study employing clinicians experienced in manual reprocessing of soiled ultrasound probes. Test soil was applied to a series of endocavity and surface probes and the clinicians utilized materials and techniques to clean them. The probes were then swabbed for residue and assayed for protein analyte. The process was repeated in Ethos and the results were compared. Difficulty in removing soil that collected in surface indentations or areas where accessories would be attached was the key differentiation between the manually-cleaned and Ethos-cleaned probes. These areas were principally cleaned in Ethos. This is why launching Ethos is significant to me—the automated cleaning and disinfecting process eliminates human errors that can result in soil build-up and potential entrapment of bacteria.”
Ethos offers healthcare facilities enhanced efficiency through the application of advanced technology. Erik Garci, Embedded Systems Engineer was excited to share, “Ethos is the first product that uses our new touchscreen platform.” Its automated features streamline the reprocessing workflow, while the device's touchscreen interface ensures ease of operation, allowing healthcare personnel to focus on patients.
Our engineers and scientists are not only devoted to making a product that works, but to making a product that can impact lives for the better. This means that the development and release of Ethos is and has always been about patient health and safety. Dr. Breanna Turman, Microbiologist, explained, “My pursuit of a career as a scientist has always been motivated by a fascination with microorganisms and a desire to use science to improve human health. Therefore, the opportunity to be directly involved in getting a product to market that will help prevent healthcare-associated infections has been very rewarding.”
Through the development and release of Ethos, our engineers and scientists have made a profound impact on patient care. Their dedication to innovation and scientific advancement has culminated in a device that has set the new standard for healthcare safety and efficiency in ultrasound probe reprocessing.