Project Details

Close up of a doctor's hands tending to a patient


Sanitising hospital hands at point of care

By SwipeSense, Inc

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @SwipeSense

  • Health
  • Data
  • Physical Computing

Two million Americans pick up hospital-acquired infections a year, and 100,000 people die from them – the main cause is poor staff hand hygiene.

SwipeSense is a hand-sanitiser and monitor that slots into hospital staff belts – giving them portable hygiene at the point of care, and providing hospitals with real time hygiene monitoring and benchmarking information.

The dispensers are the size of a Blackberry. You roll a plastic dowel down and a mist of alcohol gel spritzes the hand. ‘We wanted to make it so easy that you don’t even have to think about it,’ says its inventors, 21 year old Yuri Malina and 24 year old Mert Iseri, who met at Northwestern University and worked up the device with social design firm IDEO.

Malina and Iseri knew the data, that hospital staff only washed their hands 30% of the times they should. They also observed them, despite plentiful supply of communal sinks and hand dispensers, washing their hands on their scrubs.

Each device is loaded with a recyclable 40ml cartridge, and hubs within hospitals receive usage data emitted from the units every time a user disinfects their hands. The data lets hospitals see individuals’ compliance, comparisons, and historical trends in daily, weekly or monthly reports.

An early trial showed a 64% increase in handwashing, and trials are now underway in 10 more hospitals. The tool was incubated within Chicago accelerator Healthcox, and has raised $2.5m. The team's goal is to roll out SwipeSense across all 5,700 US hospitals.

Image 'EMT/Nursing Pediatric Emergency Simulation - April 2013 18' courtesy of COD Newsroom

Last updated: 27th of May, 2014

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