Camera System is Part of an Automated Hand Hygiene Monitoring System


The use of alcohol-based hand rub for surgical hand preparation has been proposed and a multi-step procedure was promulgated by the World Health Organization in 2009. Researchers from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and from the University of Alcalá in Madrid, Spain, say this represents a culture change for surgical staff and they report on an automated training and monitoring system for the surgical staff.

The proposed system extends the SureWash automated hand hygiene training system developed in Trinity College Dublin. A larger operating space and a wider range of hand and arm motions are required. Three approaches to system design were taken: conventional single camera (IDS, DE), stereo-camera pair (Point Grey, Calif.) and a 3D camera (Microsoft, U.S.).

The cameras were positioned above the users with a clear view of their hands. For the single-camera system, background modeling and skin detection were combined to find the hands and arms. The solution was effective but was sensitive to the intensity and color of light in the workspace. The stereo-camera system measured the distances to objects in front of the camera and was combined with the skin detection to find the hands and arms. The researchers say that the system performed well but required significant processing power. The 3D camera system could detect the arms well but the camera had to be more than 50cm above the top of the user and multiple systems in a confined space can create interference.

Three designs were evaluated in the development of an automated training and monitoring system for alcohol-based handrub surgical hand preparation and the next step is to test each in the surgical scrub room and develop an engaging training program for surgical staff. Their research was presented at the International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC) held in Geneva, Switzerland June 29-July 2, 2011.

Reference: S Ameling, GÓ Fearghaíl, S Álvarez and G Lacey. Design of automated training and monitoring system for alcohol-based hand rub surgical hand preparation. Presentation at International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC) BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 6):O32doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-O32

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