Bracelet tells docs when they’ve sufficiently washed their hands

Credit: IntelligentM

Everyone knows hospitals as places that often smell of industrial cleaners, but while they might be clean, they aren't sterile. And what about the folks who work in them? How hygienic are they, exactly? Nowhere is washing one’s hands is more important, yet about 100,000 people die each year in the U.S. because of hospital-borne infections.

That’s why IntelligentM, a startup, has decided to create a bracelet that vibrates when someone has washed his hands sufficiently. Currently, people are paid to secretly monitor the hygiene habits of doctors, nurses and the like. Obviously, this technology would be cheaper and likely more efficient.

The bracelet works simply enough, by reading RFID tags at hand-washing and sanitizing stations. It then monitors how much time someone spends washing his hands. When that washing is sufficient is buzzes once. If it isn’t, it buzzes three times.

Often, the beauty is in the simplicity.

These RFID tags are also placed outside patients' rooms to remind workers to clean their hands before high-risk procedures.

The bracelet contains a microUSB connection and will collect data over time (who is washing correctly v. who isn’t). At the end of each shift, you plug in and all your hygiene secrets are archived.

Three hospitals in Florida are currently using the device.

IntelligentM, Via Technology Review