Hand hygiene is the most important method of preventing and controlling infection. But educating medical staff to ensure that they wash their hands according to health authority guidelines can be a time-consuming process.
Engineers at Glanta have developed an automated solution: a mobile vision-based system that can train medical staff to improve their hand hygiene in healthcare centers.
The SureWash system sequentially displays images of seven hand-washing poses such as the rotational rubbing of the right thumb clasped in the left palm. During each of the poses, a USB camera from IDS Imaging captures images of the user's hands. Software then compares these images to those in the system to ensure the user is performing each hand-washing exercise correctly.
To provide feedback, a green progress bar moves from right to left across the screen, indicating that the user is effectively following the hand-washing procedure. If the correct procedure is not followed, the system will not allow the user to progress to the next exercise.
Glanta has also developed two complementary products called the SureWash Audit and the SureWash Surgery system.
The SureWash Audit can provide audits of hand-wash events at clinical sinks in high-risk areas such as intensive care units. Every hand wash is automatically measured for compliance with technique and duration, and that each wash meets the standards required. The SureWash Surgery system guides medical staff through correct hand preparation techniques, such as how long to keep their fingertips in hand rub, prior to surgery.
Developed over five years by Dr. Gerry Lacey at Trinity College Dublin, the SureWash system has already been trialed in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital and by the UK Department of Health in the Mid Essex NHS Trust.