Many healthcare workers fail to wash or sanitize their hands while on the job, and that failure is the main reason hospital patients acquire 1 million infections each year.
But a technology developed by Clean Hands Safe Hands
(CHSH) aims to reduce those infections by promoting hand hygiene in an entirely new way.
The technology – an affordable, wireless monitoring system connected to soap and sanitizer dispensers – has been developed in partnership with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
, Georgia Tech
and Emory University
. Headquartered at ATDC, the company got a big boost in July with the awarding of two patents and the approval of a key Phase III investment from GRA Ventures
Through the CHSH platform, medical staff are alerted whenever they miss a hygiene opportunity at a soap or sanitizer dispenser. The notifications, however, are tailored to the precise rules, workflow and physical layout of the hospital.
That detailed customization capability is one of the patents awarded to CHSH this month. The other is a Natural Language Voice Reminder, which uses an unobtrusive audio recording of a person's voice to remind staff to perform hand hygiene if they forgot to do so. Because of the voice reminder, medical staff in clinical trials were four times more likely to practice good hand hygiene.
Such a level of adherence is crucial to patient health. The World Health Organization and the CDC report that hand hygiene is the most important factor in preventing the spread of infections throughout hospitals. About 1 in 25 admitted patients acquires an infection during a hospital stay.
The market potential of Clean Hands Safe Hands was a major factor in GRA Ventures electing to make a Phase III investment in the company. “The additional capital will help us increase our sales and product development,” says Chris Hermann, founder and CEO.