A Washington State startup is looking to keep people healthy by zapping germs off computer keyboards, starting with local hospitals.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimate up to 99,000 people die each year from hospital-acquired infections. The makers of the Vioguard keyboard hope to cut that number by a quarter with their product, though that number is a point of contention among health professionals.

It’s designed to be a keyboard, with a touchpad, that slides into a steel box after it’s used. Germicidal UV lamps inside the box then flood the keyboard for a user-set duration. An infrared sensor allows people to bring the keyboard back out without touching the box.

“In as little as 10 seconds, we’re killing 99.9 percent of MRSA that’s on there,” said Vioguard co-founder Ken Sullivan.

Photo by Vioguard.

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