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LifeAire’s new targets: hospitals, nursing homes, pharma

One of two LifeAire Systems air purifi cation systems shipped to Stanford University Medical Center in California./ PHOTO COURTESY OF LIFEAIRE SYSTEMS LLC

While leaving Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township after a typical day at work, Kathryn C. Worrilow was walking through the parking lot when she noticed fumes wafting from the freshly resurfaced asphalt of the MedEvac helicopter pad.

While leaving Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township after a typical day at work, Kathryn C. Worrilow was walking through the parking lot when she noticed fumes wafting from the freshly resurfaced asphalt of the MedEvac helicopter pad.

A reproductive physiologist, Worrilow at the time was scientific director of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s in vitro fertilization laboratory. She was bothered by the polluted air and wondered if contaminated air could contribute to the sporadic dips in clinical pregnancy success rates that she was seeing in her IVF patients.

After years of research, Worrilow proved that there was a direct correlation between declines in pregnancy success rates of her patients and times when there were nearby fires, roadwork or any event that emitted chemicals into the air.

With nothing on the market that could purify the air enough in the lab for what an embryo needs to survive, in 2008 Worrilow came up with her own solution – and designed, patented and produced LifeAire Systems LLC. It’s the only-of-its-kind air purification and inactivation system that can eradicate Anthrax spores, giving a 50 percent increase in clinical pregnancy success rates.

“I was completely driven to do this [LifeAire] and come up with a solution,” Worrilow said.

Today, LifeAire is in IVF labs across the nation and in several parts of the globe. And now, the company and its technology are ready to enter other sectors of health care by not only purifying the air in clean rooms of IVF labs, but other spaces – including in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical laboratories and pharmacies.

With a health care industry trying to adhere to the three objectives of the 2010 Affordable Care Act – better cost, better care and a healthier population – Worrilow’s product fits well with achieving those goals, according to LifeAire’s chief of operations, Philip Coburn.

“LifeAire is the only thing that addresses all three things and doesn’t ask you to change anything,” Coburn said of LifeAire Systems that can be installed in ducts above the ceiling or on top of the roof.

According to Worrilow, her IVF lab had every air filtration system that it could, but still was not enough for the needs of the embryo – which she refers to as “the most sensitive cell in all of human physiology.”

After consulting with many professionals, Worrilow in 2008 launched two prototypes of LifeAire Systems, installing them in two IVF practices in New York. She spent the next two years collecting data to ensure that the technology was successful.

Jennifer Glose
Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111.

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