Hospitals aren’t always safe places.
In 2011, more than 700,000 people actually got an infection while they were in a U.S. hospital, according to a study released this week by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s one out of every 25 patients. Approximately 75,000 of those patients died during their hospitalization.
That’s actually an improvement since 2002, but there’s clearly a ways to go. One simple and effective way to help stop these infections is better hygiene.
But since hand sanitizer dispensers and hand-washing stations all over hospitals are too frequently ignored, a British studio named Agency of Design has come up with an elegant solution — a sanitizer dispenser that can be fitted to door handles, as shown on Wired.
Here’s how they see it working:
“We wanted to make the interaction as simple as possible, trying to make it almost subconscious,” Agency of Design co-founder Rich Gilbert told Wired.
By connecting the sanitizer to a door that someone is already passing through, using it can become a habit, a natural step. “You’re already holding it, so you might as well use the other hand to dispense sanitizer,” Gilbert said.
The handles, designed for Altitude Medical and named PullClean, will cost $US200 and will start shipping later this year.
They will have an additional feature to help hospital administrators out: sensors connected to a web application, which will report how frequently sanitizer is dispensed, compared to how frequently the doors were opened.
Here’s a video from Vimeo by Agency of Design that shows how easily germs can be picked up, and how the device will work:
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