Fukui University has been collaborating with CARECOM, an IoT solution provider for healthcare facilities, to ensure medical workers comply with guidelines for hand hygiene. Using CARECOM’s 3HS-AI monitoring system, sensors attached to hand sanitizer bottles that nurses carry transmit a Bluetooth® signal to locaters and Bluetooth receivers every 0.2 seconds. When the bottle is pumped, the pumping is detected by stopping the transmission, which informs the supervisor whether the nurses sanitized their hands at the proper time and where they did so.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with SMILE Unit Director Yuji Sakamoto from CARECOM, and he explained how their latest Bluetooth enabled solution enhances disinfection management in medical facilities.
Q&A with Yuji Sakamoto
Could you talk more about this solution and the impact it can have on healthcare facilities and patients?
Hand hygiene is a standard precaution, and it is required to prevent nosocomial infections. The proper introduction of hand-hygiene monitoring systems can increase the chances of developing strong hand sanitizing habits in a hospital or healthcare facility and contribute to the prevention of nosocomial infections.
The solution automatically monitors three moments of My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the key moments when healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene. The three moments include: before touching a patient, after touching a patient, and after touching patient surroundings. The sensor devices transmit signals notifying the location information of each healthcare worker or the pumping of each hand-sanitizer spray. Consequently, this hand-hygiene monitoring system visualizes who used hand sanitizer and when and where they did so.
How long has this solution been in place?
Demonstration experiments have been carried out for approximately the last three years, and the solution was launched in the summer of 2019.
Are there any hospitals or organizations, in addition to the University of Fukui Hospital, to use this solution?
Nagoya University Hospital is also using this solution. Also, we are currently providing the solution to five other hospitals for a limited time. We are also looking to introduce the solution into advanced acute-care environments, including ICU.