IntelligentM...Bracelet buzzes if your doctor's hands are dirty
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Most people go to the hospital hopeful that the medical professionals tending to them will follow basic, hygienic guidelines such as washing their hands. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and as a result almost 100,000 people die every year due to hospital-borne infections that can be linked to the lack of sanitizing by medical staff.
A startup company called IntelligentM looks to solve this problem with the release of a bracelet that vibrates when its user has not washed hands well enough.
How it works
The bracelet reads RFID tags that are placed on the sinks and sanitizing stations around a hospital. Each individual bracelet contains an accelerometer that can even determine how long an employee has been washing his or her hands. If a hospital employee does not spend enough time washing hands, the bracelet knows by measuring the energy behind the scrub, and it will buzz three times to let the bracelet wearer know. For those who have successfully washed their hands, the bracelet will only buzz once.
Not only are the RFID tags placed on the hand-washing stations, but also outside of a patient’s room and on some equipment. If a medical employee has not properly sanitized, the bracelet will alert them to do so before entering.
At the end of each shift, employers can determine how well an employee followed regulations by analyzing the data collected from a microUSB connection contained in the bracelet.
Currently, some hospitals monitor employee hygiene with human presence, filling their hospital with spies that can keep an eye out, but this method proves to be costly and many times only occurs during the day shifts.
The IntelligentM wristband was used for the first time in December 2012 at a Sarasota, FL, hospital and is branching out to other hospitals in Florida.