Partners Connected Health and Osram Investigate Light-Based Disinfection

Physicians, nurses and environmental staff illuminate the need for a more efficient, effective solution.

BOSTON, MA – Looking to make cleaning a hospital environment more effective and efficient, the Partners Connected Health Innovation team worked with global lighting technology leader Osram to explore the use of light as a disinfectant. Osram’s headquarters for the Americas region is located in Wilmington, Massachusetts.

“Maintaining a sterile environment in the hospital is of the utmost importance to our patients, but is a complex process for our hospital staff,” said Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, Senior Director, Partners Connected Health Innovation. “Our goal with Osram is to make this easy and ‘user-centered’ so that sterility management is no longer a chore for our staff. We strongly believe that this will enhance patient safety and clinical outcomes for all our hospitals.”

Osram designers, researchers and engineers worked with the Partners Connected Health Innovation User-Centered Design team throughout the four-month project. Seeing a new way to approach their work shed light on potential opportunities they hadn’t previously envisioned.

“Impactful innovation requires understanding end user and customer needs, not only in technology but in all industries,” said Rodrigo Pereyra, R&D Manager, Osram Innovation. “In working with the Innovation team at Partners Connected Health, we challenged our assumptions about sterilization and disinfection in healthcare by experiencing the staff’s pain points firsthand. By seeing things through their eyes, we are able to more effectively address their needs, and strive to create innovative solutions that will exceed their expectations. We are in the early stages of development right now, and are excited to work with Partners to unlock the potential of light-based disinfection.” 

Field observations and interviews with physicians, nurses and cleaning staff revealed a host of challenges about cleaning in hospital settings, including intensive care units, inpatient immunocompromised units, surgical suites, outpatient clinics and community health centers. Among them were the high level of foot traffic within units, between units and throughout a hospital; the challenges of cleaning in crowded settings; and the invisible nature of disinfection and infection control.

This knowledge, paired with collaborative design-thinking workshops, produced just under 50 ideas, which were narrowed down to four prototype concepts. Clinical and non-clinical staff then provided feedback on an early-stage light-based disinfection prototype through user testing in a hospital setting. These insights will influence Osram’s future iterations of the prototype and inform future innovations in the area of light-based disinfection.

“Teaming up with researchers and staff at Partners Connected Health provided us with a great opportunity to gather important feedback in a short timeframe, and gave us insight into the daily needs inside large, complex healthcare institutions,” Pereyra said. “Partners hospitals have a tremendous reputation, and we’re proud to work alongside these leaders in medicine to develop new tools to help keep patients safe.”


Partners Connected Health, at Partners HealthCare, is leveraging information technology – mobile phones, tablets, wearables, sensors and remote health monitoring tools – to deliver quality patient care outside of traditional medical settings. Partners Connected Health programs are also helping providers and patients better manage chronic conditions, maintain health and wellness and improve adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes. The Connected Health team creates and deploys mobile technologies in a number of patient populations and care settings, and is conducting innovative research studies to test the effectiveness of mobile health technologies in various clinical applications, including medication adherence, care coordination, chronic disease management, prevention and wellness. Partners HealthCare, an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

OSRAM SYLVANIA is part of OSRAM Americas, a group of OSRAM companies located in North and South America. As a leader in lighting solutions and services specializing in innovative design and energy-saving technology, the company sells products under the brand names OSRAM, Traxon, ENCELIUM and SYLVANIA. The portfolio ranges from high-tech applications based on semiconductor technology, such as infrared or laser lighting, to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. The OSRAM SYLVANIA and OSRAM Americas regional headquarters is located in Wilmington, Massachusetts. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


OSRAM, based in Munich, is a globally leading lighting manufacturer with a history dating back about 100 years. The product portfolio includes high-tech applications based on semiconductor technology such as infrared or laser lighting. The products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality, autonomous driving or mobile phones to smart and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. In automotive lighting, the company is the global market and technology leader. Based on continuing operations (excluding Ledvance), OSRAM had around 24,600 employees worldwide at the end of fiscal 2016 (September 30) and generated revenue of almost €3.8 billion in that fiscal year. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at

OSRAM is a registered trademark of OSRAM GmbH.

ENCELIUM is a registered trademark of OSRAM SYLVANIA Inc.
All other trademarks are those of their respective owners.

Media inquiries:

Gina Cella
for Partners Connected Health

Ellen Slingsby