A project group consisting of The Technical University of Denmark, Aarhus University Hospital, Sølund Nursing home and Sani Nudge have received funding to develop and test a digital tool to improve infection detection and hand hygiene among healthcare professionals in hospitals and nursing homes. The solution will help fight the spread of corona in both the primary and secondary sector.
Poor hand hygiene in hospitals and nursing homes poses a major risk to patients, nursing home residents and healthcare professionals who may be infected by covid-19. That is why The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) are working together with Sani Nudge, to realise the developing of a digital tool that will both improve hand hygiene among healthcare professionals and track infection risk though contact tracing. The project has just received a grant of €370,000 from the Innovation Fund Denmark. The total project cost will be €530,000 co-financed by Sani Nudge and DTU.
The tool consist of a further development of the system system and will consist of bluetooth sensors that tell the location of healthcare professional, patients and assets all together. The staff’s name plate will have a build-in chip, which is detected when either passing a alcohol dispenser, a hospital bed or other rooms in the facility. The same principle works for equipment, which is also a large contamination risk if not properly cleaned when leaving an infected patient’s room.
“One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of covid-19 infection is to disinfect one hands and clean equipment. The hands pose a huge risk of infecting many patients as well as colleagues in the department as they travel freely around the facility and touches many surfaces and other people ”says Marco Bo Hansen, physician and Medical Director at Sani Nudge.
“It is usually a time-consuming, resource-heavy and manual task to identify who has been in contact with infected persons. That is why we have joined forces to improve hand hygiene and track the movement of healthcare professionals around hospitals and nursing homes in order to quickly disinfect the areas where an infected person has been. “
Low practical project with massive impact
If a patient or nursing home resident is diagnosed with covid-19, the tool will be able to track which healthcare professionals have been near the patient and subsequently advise them of a possible infection risk. Thus, hospitals and nursing homes get an overview of who needs to be tested and what spaces need to be cleaned to prevent corona outbreaks. All happens automatically and is communicated with notifications. Algorithms from the pilot project is generated by DTU Compute from the data provided by the Sani Nudge system.
“The project is very low practical, but has a huge impact. We are already seeing a big impact on the number of new corona cases and deaths simply by keeping distance, cleaning equipment and washing hands. There is no doubt that improved hand hygiene will have a fantastic effect especially if it is done at the exact time needed. ”says Bjarne Kjær Ersbøll, a professor at DTU Compute.
The project team expect to have the first pilot of the system operational within just few months and have a commercial version ready by 2021.