Cognetive Systems, Inc. announces that its wireless sensor product used for hand hygiene measurement and improvement, Intelligent Hygiene, was utilized in a large scale research effort conducted jointly by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Unilever.
The research objective was to test behavioral interventions and determine their effectiveness at increasing handwashing rates. The peer-reviewed research paper, "Experimental Pretesting of Hand-Washing Interventions in a Natural Setting," was published in the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.
Within a highly trafficked motorway service station near London, service station restrooms provided a natural setting to measure the typical handwashing behavior of a large volume of people over several months. The Intelligent Hygiene system purchased for the research was comprised of 50 soap dispensers outfitted with Cognetive's patented wireless sensor solution for measuring and improving Hand hygiene rates, and wireless sensors used to count the number of persons entering restrooms. Between July and September 2008, the Intelligent Hygiene system automatically detected and data-based nearly 200,000 handwashing events. This is believed to have been the world's largest deployment of a fully automated, wireless sensor based system used for measuring hand hygiene performance.
"This deployment achieved a new milestone for Intelligent Hygiene" said Hank Ortiz, president and CEO of Cognetive Systems. "The low-cost, low-power wireless sensors, and Web-based system deployment, management and reporting software represent a wireless data acquisition platform developed by Cognetive specifically for hand hygiene performance measurement and improvement for the healthcare, food services and hospitality Industries.”
Ortiz continues, “Although we have leveraged this technology platform by developing wireless sensor products for a variety of applications ranging from vehicle telemetry to water conservation, this was the first opportunity that we had had to deliver a hand hygiene performance measurement system with more than 50 wireless sensor nodes in such a harsh, high-use environment. Our wireless sensor solutions are based on simple premises: If it's to be taken seriously, measure it, and if you want something to improve, track measurable performance against quantitative goals. Intelligent Hygiene provides a low-cost and scalable method for the accurate and unobtrusive measurement of hand hygiene performance, as well as a Web-based interface providing easy to interpret real-time hand hygiene performance against a goal.”
Intelligent Hygiene is devoid of RFID badges, tags and other such devices used to monitor and single out individuals. The absence of badges eliminates the expense and complexity of badge administration, badge battery charging, replacement badges, etc., as well as the feelings of invasion of privacy among workers required to wear or carry such devices. Intelligent Hygiene focuses on measurement, real-time feedback and sustained hand hygiene performance improvement of entire teams of co-workers. The Intelligent Hygiene philosophy holds that working in teams is a more effective method of execution toward a common purpose and for achieving group or departmental performance goals via mutual accountability for the team's success.