A wearable for healthcare workers prompts, tracks & automatically dispenses hand sanitizer

Cinco de Mayo to some, World Hand Hygiene Day to others. The World Health Organization, CDC and other partners today are drawing attention to the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread of infection with an education and awareness campaign. Fittingly timed, a startup called Observe Design is launching a new wearable hand sanitizer dispenser […]

Cinco de Mayo to some, World Hand Hygiene Day to others.

The World Health Organization, CDC and other partners today are drawing attention to the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread of infection with an education and awareness campaign. Fittingly timed, a startup called Observe Design is launching a new wearable hand sanitizer dispenser it thinks could improve hand hygiene compliance by making it simpler for healthcare workers to follow existing guidelines.

Three alumni of Stanford-India Biodesign formed the company and spent several months observing healthcare professionals to identify challenges they face in following hand hygiene guidelines. With funding from Johnson & Johnson and the Czech ICT Alliance, the founders designed a small dispenser that works with disposable cartridges filled with enough sanitizer to last for a healthcare worker’s shift.

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Healthcare workers would wear Hansure over any attire and activate it with a simple single hand action, the company says. A premium version of the device uses proximity-sensing technology to monitor how frequently workers sanitize their hands with the device, and prompt them to do so after being in contact with another person.

The New Delhi-based startup employed user-centered design with the hope of making it more convenient for healthcare workers – as well as travelers, food handlers and other kinds of high-risk workers – to fight the spread of infections. In the U.S., hospital-acquired infections affect more than 720,000 patients a year.

Several other companies are doing this, too. Among them are SwipeSense, which developed a dispenser that clips onto a coat pocket, and Pure-Go, which makes a wrist-worn dispenser. Hansure attaches to the belt with a magnet, or can be used as a bench-top or a wall/surface-mounted dispenser when it’s not being worn, said Observe Design CEO Aanan Khurma.

The company said in a statement that its device would be available “very soon.”

The most basic device has a price point of $25 with $3 cartridges. The advanced version will be $60.