The Zeiss UVClean UV-C disinfecting device can clean 6-10 frames in 40 seconds

By Denis Langlois


Eye care professionals who reopened their optical boutiques and clinics amid the COVID-19 pandemic faced many new challenges – not the least of which was the added time required to repeatedly and properly disinfect each frame handled by patients and staff.

For high-volume practices and businesses, the task proved labour-intensive and took up too much precious staff time.

Luckily, the design and production teams at Zeiss Vision Care had been working full bore, in conjunction with Voxelight, since the onset of the pandemic to develop a simple, fast and affordable solution.

The company launched its optometry-specific Zeiss UVClean UV-C disinfecting device in both Canada and the United States in September.

Capable of disinfecting six to 10 frames of any size in 40 seconds at the push of a button, the device uses the power of four germicidal UVC bulbs to completely bathe each pair of eyeglasses in powerful UV light.

The result: the device kills up to 99.5 per cent of common viruses and bacteria on the surfaces of eyeglasses.

“We wanted to provide the industry with something that was designed specifically for eyeglasses. That was really the caveat because there was nothing out there when we started talking about this that was designed for eye care professionals by eye care professionals,” Robert Spirito, senior director of product marketing at Carl Zeiss Vision, said in an interview with Optical Prism magazine.

It was also “incredibly important” for the company to develop an effective frame and lens disinfecting device that was also affordable for ECPs, he said. Each unit retails for less than $1,000 USD.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Spirito said Zeiss had developed technologies using ultraviolet C light, which has been proven to effectively deactivate viruses and other pathogens.

The company had teamed up with Voxelight before to develop the Zeiss C-UVProtect tablet, a point-of-sale device that allows users to see the level of UV protection provided by various optical lenses.

After the pandemic hit, Zeiss quickly identified a need to design a product to disinfect eyewear that would enable ECPs to spend less time and resources cleaning and more time engaging with their patients.

Zeiss says other disinfectant options at the time were poor at best. Cleaning each frame with soap and water is slow and labour-intensive and frames may not be dry enough to be tried on right away by the next patients. Alcohol-based solutions or hydrogen peroxide can potentially damage frames over time and come with an unpleasant smell. And most re-purposed industrial and consumer UV-C boxes are costly and bulky.