Announcement from St. Luke’s University Health Network
Aug 11, 2020

A passion for pure air links St. Luke’s University Health Network with local entrepreneur Kathryn Worrilow, PhD, in a win-win partnership that benefits patients, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. It began in 2017 when Dr. Worrilow’s company, LifeAire, designed and installed an experimental air purification system serving 14 patient rooms on the fifth floor of St. Luke’s Allentown Campus. This advanced technology sterilizes the air flowing through the HVAC system, removing or neutralizing all pathogens – including the COVID-19 coronavirus – that might otherwise infect patients recovering on the unit from illness or surgery.

The measurable clinical benefits of the air purification system installed in 2017 are impressive: patient lengths of stay dropped nearly 40%, making hospitalizations 23% less costly, according to an internal review of preliminary data.

Dr. Worrilow and LifeAire, the Allentown, Pa., company she founded and runs, developed the air purification technology originally for the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process, then innovatively adapted it for use in the air handling units in hospitals like St. Luke’s. Pathogen-free air is essential for creating and sustaining life, making it ideal for IVF as well as for protecting patients while they heal.