Ohio Doctor Invents Pen Sanitizing Device for Keeping Office Pens Clean
Sharing pens isn’t like it used to be. If you’ve gone to a doctor’s office or a restaurant recently, you’ve probably noticed two separate cups on the front desk: one for unused pens and one for used. Or, maybe you just used a pen and they said it’s yours to keep, so you’re not potentially sharing germs with others.
These are sanitary measures that we haven’t really had to take until recently, at least outside of medical facilities. But a doctor in Ohio thinks he’s found a way to keep his current batch of pens without having to risk the spread of any disease or viruses.
Ophthalmologist Brian Wind has actually been working on his Steri-Write “pen sanitizer” for 10 years, but his timing couldn’t be better right now. Using UV-C germicidal LED light rays, the device kills pathogens that cause bacterial and viral infections.
This means that even after the COVID-19 pandemic, there will still be uses for the machine, which can hold up to 14 pens. People will still want to limit their exposure to germs and bacteria. You probably hear your mother’s voice saying, “Put that down, you don’t know where that’s been.” Well, in this case, the pen has been in the sterilizer, Mom.
That means that all of those places that use pens frequently and see high volume of traffic could use one.
“I’d noticed my pediatrician colleagues had two waiting rooms—one for sick patients and one for well visits, which is a great idea,” Dr. Wind told the Canton Repository. “But they were all using the same pens. I knew there had to be a better way.”
He was right. According to the Canton Rep, studies have shown that pens contained more germs than any other surface in doctors offices—about 8 million colony-forming units per square inch.
The Steri-Write is 10" tall, 11" wide and 5" deep, making it easy to place in any office or workplace. Once a pen is used, you place it in the top of the machine, and a clean pen will come out the bottom. It can also work on batteries if you need to use it remotely, and each device lasts an estimated five years minimum before needing to be replaced.
“It’s efficient and eco-friendly,” Dr. Wind said.
Pens and writing instruments are standbys in the promotional products industry, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Stolen pens and spent ink cartridges will happen, so that’s always going to drive demand for more re-orders from offices customers. Especially if people know the pen they’re pocketing is clean, they might not be as worried about it. But, even if every pen stays in rotation, they’ll have a longer shelf life since they will be used again and again safely until they run dry.