We would love to think that with the high level of technology, medical and pharmaceutical solutions available today, only the most complicated and severe diseases could take their tolls. However, currently one of the pitfalls in healthcare is definitely hand hygiene, as it is not visible to the human eyes and the objective control of it still proves to be a challenge.
HandInScan Ltd., a spin-off of the Budapest University of Economics and Technology, has declared the improvement of hand hygiene issue in healthcare to its mission. Founded in November 2011, the company developed a concept and a device that helps doctors, surgeons, nurses, etc. to evaluate hand disinfection quality objectively.
The solution is called Hand-In-Scan and it provides immediate feedback to the user on sterility of his / her hands. “The Hand-in-Scan system gives repeatable and immediate measurement of hand washing quality through UV-marked soap under non-invasive light excitation and digital imaging relying on image-processing. The setup consists of a rigid case with built-in UV lighting, a digital camera and an attached notebook. Fluorescent lights without a phosphorescent coating emit ultraviolet radiation due to the peak emission of the mercury within the tube.
The workflow is as follows:
- Hand washing is performed with the treated soap mix, which appears brighter on sterile surfaces. The specification of the original soap material guarantees the effectiveness of the disinfection.
- Pictures of the hand are taken in the UV-lighted box with a wide angled digital camera mounted on the case (the palm and the top of the hand are recorded one after the other).
- The images are downloaded to a regular notebook through wire connection, and the computer performs an automatic evaluation procedure, providing images that highlights clean versus dirty areas, and indicates an overall score for the hand washing that are unambiguously displayed on the computer screen.” (Source: DBH Investments)
Hand-In-Scan is being constantly tested in several hospitals in a few countries and gained results flow back to develop the solution further. The concept proved to be groundbreaking and the problem it tackles is of such great importance that Hand-In-Scan won several international prizes such as for example it was honored with the Best Medical Solution award at Best of Biotech competition in Vienna, and it was also the winner of the European Young Innovators Forum’s Innopitch competition just to mention a couple.
End of November 2012, Hand-In-Scan was able to secure funding from DBH Investment – a venture capital firm – to enable further development of the concept as well as to launch and roll-out the solution internationally supported by the Austrian Center for Medical Innovation and Technology.
Source of image: courtesy of Hand-In-Scan.