RFID Helps Healthcare Workers Wash Hands Properly
Think you’re washing your hands long enough? RFID will be the judge of that! A startup called IntelligentM intends to ensure hospital workers are washing their hands properly by using RFID.
IntelligentM uses bracelets that vibrate when the wearer has scrubbed sufficiently, allowing employees to check their hygiene habits and prevent spreading germs.
Approximately 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to infections that arise during hospital visits—infections that occur because doctors, nurses, and technicians don’t wash their hands properly. Recently, this has been receiving more attention because Medicare and other insurance providers will not reimburse hospitals for expenses related to such infections.
The IntelligentM wristband reads RFID tags on hand-washing and sanitizing stations and an accelerometer detects how long employees spend washing their hands. Once an employee has washed for a sufficient amount of time, the wristband buzzes once. Should the employee not wash properly, the wristband will buzz three times.
In addition, RFID tags are placed outside patient rooms and on certain pieces of equipment. The system alerts workers to wash their hands before beginning a high infection risk procedure.
Data from the bracelets is collected through a microUSB connection at the end of each shift, allowing hospital epidemiologists to gain visibility into employee hygiene habits.