It’s Like a Welcome Mat that Disinfects Your Shoes

We’ve learned a lot of disturbing things during this coronavirus outbreak. We’ve learned how long a virus lives on packages, and mail. Some experts have even shared the results of swabbing a typical American family’s shoes – and boy was that disturbing.

It turns out, our shoes are a reflection of the world we walk around in (imagine that). So, the soles of a typical American’s shoes might contain traces of everything from feces (animal and human), various pathogens, dangerous chemicals and even cocaine.

Research published April 10 by the CDC found that floors and shoe soles had the highest concentrations of COVID-19 in samples taken at a hospital facility in Wuhan, China.

It also found the virus was being tracked well beyond patient rooms to other parts of the hospital, including into non-patient care areas such as hospital pharmacies where sampling indicated a 100 percent COVID-19 presence.

In the time of COVID-19, many Americans are taking off their shoes before entering the home, and leaving them outside. Given what the experts are telling us, this might not be a bad idea.

But, wait, there’s another option.

A company called HealthySole makes a device designed to disinfect your shoes. For homeowners who can afford the device, it would be like a welcome mat that helps keep the novel coronavirus out of the home.

According to the company, “Researchers have proven a device using ultraviolet light technology can neutralize the human coronavirus and other infectious diseases on the soles of shoes by more than 99.5 percent, according to a new study.”

The device, called HealthySole PLUS, is being introduced in hospitals and other settings where infection control is urgent. A home version of the device (HealthySole HOME) is also available.

How it works is simple. When a person stands on a HealthySole device, a steady beam of UVC light, the only wavelength of ultraviolet light known to kill germs, bathes the soles of their shoes. The entire process from start to finish takes only eight to 10 seconds. The device is immediately ready for the next person.

“The device deactivated coronavirus markers by over 99.5 percent versus the control across three separate tests,” according to the report as published by CREM Co, an internationally recognized infectious disease research and testing organization based near Toronto, Canada.

As hospitals seek ways to reduce COVID-19 infections, a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) report points out that the virus is spread through floors and foot traffic, and not just by person-to-person contact.

The company points out that, while hospitals often scrub floors daily with a variety of cleaning agents, these steps provide only a temporary solution. As soon as someone walks on the cleaned floors with infected shoes, floors are rapidly re-contaminated, sometimes in as little as 30 minutes.

And, let’s face it, hospitals are generally kept a lot cleaner than people keep their homes.

This device seems like a solution to a problem most people who wear shoes in the house are not even aware of.

So, how to you get one?

The HealthySole device is not super cheap, with the home version available for $495 on the company’s website. Amazon seems to be sold out of them as of this writing. The pro model is available at medical device stores, but it costs more than $4,500.

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