Smart Door Handles – Pull Clean

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According to recent statistics, about 1 out of 25 patients in a US hospital get sick on any given day due to infections acquired in a hospital environment – also known as Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI).

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These are one of the most common causes of disease and death in the US, causing about 99,000 deaths each year. The leading cause of HAIs is transmission of harmful bacteria through direct contact with either an infected individual or a contaminated surface. The easiest way to reduce the degree of transmission is proper disinfection and sanitization. Even though most hospitals have proper sanitization stations, they are located at only a few specified places, causing the busy hospital staff to either forget about them or ignore them. The simplest solution to this is creating sanitization stations at more convenient and regular distances.

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A British firm called Altitude Medical has come up with an ingenious solution to this problem: place sanitizers at the most common touch point in hospitals – the ward doors. They have done this by introducing the PullClean door handles. These door handles consist of a column containing a 500ml cartridge of hand sanitizer, which is dispensed on pushing the blue button at the bottom of the handle. Thus anyone entering a room would easily be able to disinfect their hands without having to go out of their way to do so. This simple but vital installation reduces the thought process on the side of the hospital staff, while introducing cleaner and healthier practices. This, in addition to ensuring lesser transmission of disease, will cultivate the habit of regular sanitization among the hospital staff, thus cutting down the probability of HAIs by a considerable degree.

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The PullClean door handles come with software called CountClean. This software keeps track of the number of times people use the PullClean to sanitize their hands. This data is then sent to a web portal, allowing the staff to review the 30 day average of sanitization rates by hours, days or weeks. Apart from providing feedback, it helps the staff to see patterns and make appropriate changes required over time. Additionally, it notifies the staff if the sanitizer is running out so that the sanitizer cartridge can be timely replaced.

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Pre-production prototypes of PullClean have been introduced in a few selected hospitals in the US. According to the feedback, its introduction has increased the sanitization rates from 22% to 77%. This level of increase is predicted to greatly reduce the rate of HAIs. The installation of PullClean in the hospitals is just the beginning. The long term plans include introducing this inventive device in schools, bus stations, libraries and other public places to ensure protection from common disease causing bacteria and viruses.

The PullClean will be on sale later this year, at the price tag of $200 per item.

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