Hospital-acquired infections are a worldwide problem, which results in increased morbidity, prolonged admission to the hospital and at worst death. Denmark experiences about 60,000 hospital-acquired infections each year (Statens Serum Institut, 2015). Therefore, the HandMate project was brought to life.
Good hand hygiene is the most important factor in the prevention of hospital-acquired infections, and because of this, there is a need for a high quality of hand hygiene among the healthcare staff, the patients and the relatives at the Danish hospitals.
The aim of the project was to develop an intelligent robot to improve hand hygiene at the hospitals. The hand disinfection robot was to ensure that the hand disinfectant is better distributed to the hand and wrist than it is possible through manual application. This was to assist in reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections.
The project group produced the first prototype of a robot that through spraying nozzles applied hand disinfectant to the hands and wrists. initial tests showed that the spraying nozzles build into the robot distributed the hand disinfectant more effectively than existing methods.
During the fall of 2013, the robot was tested and assessed through a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at OUH. The results were positive to a degree that the three ideas men behind the robot established a form to do further work on the project. The firm is called Wellfaremedico, and the robot has been named HandMate.
After the initial development project, the Region of Southern Denmark and the Growth Forum of the Region continued to support the development of the robot through an OPI project with Wellfaremedico.
Rikke Lyngholm Hansen-Christensen
Start: September 2012
End: September 2013
Read more at the official homepage of the project