Austin Tech Company Aims to Reduce COVID-19 Spread in Hospitals and Other Public Buildings

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Hospitals have acted quickly to accommodate the influx of COVID-19 patients, but how do they keep the virus from spreading inside their buildings?

Testing the airflow and maintaining the proper pressure in rooms is crucial, yet many hospitals only routinely audit 15–20% of their facilities, and the process is an outdated one that relies on handwritten notes and Excel spreadsheets.

Austin-based Life Balance Technologies is aiming to change that.

The tech startup has developed a software that will help hospitals and other public facilities reduce the indoor spread of COVID-19 and airborne infections more effectively and affordably.

S?fAir can analyze infection control parameters from 100% of a facility and provide reports faster, more accurately, and with less cost. This software will allow hospitals to track potential risks and reduce hospital-acquired infections, Life Balance Co-Founder Steve Manz said.

“This was not a priority previously because the chance of airborne disease seemed so remote,” Manz said. “Facility-wide testing was time-consuming, costly and unmanageable. Building owners have invested billions of dollars in energy efficient systems to reduce their utility bills, but very few have invested tools to maintain the airflow standards needed for a safe environment.”

Life Balance has already integrated the software in four hospitals outside of Texas and is looking to onboard Austin-area healthcare facilities as soon as possible. The company’s Texas team is currently based in the Capital Factory in Austin.

“The feedback we’re getting is that S?fAir is unique and there’s obviously a huge need for this — so keep going” Manz said. “Hospitals want safer facilities and they need to achieve this with tighter or limited budgets. We are helping them do more with less money. Life Balance Technology is providing a solution to issues that existed before COVID-19. These issues are urgent not only for hospitals, but also to all other public facilities like assisted living, schools and offices, most of which do not test at all. More importantly, this is a solution to benefit the lives and safety of all frontline workers, patients, office workers, students and all occupants.”