login    demo

Future Projects


New Applications for Our Technology

Including Hand Washing Opportunities

Field: Health care providers

Abstract

Monitoring a wash station by a Sanit-Eyes system allows determination of the adequacy of the hand washing technique and provides basic statistics of all hand washings. A basic metric (adhesion rate) of the compliance to hand washing standards is the ratio of conforming hand washings to the occasions where hand washings should be performed. A system is described where data on the occasions where hand washings should be performed can also be accumulated so that the adhesion rate can be determined over any period, and the identity determined of those who fail to comply with hand washing standards. This visibility should itself promote better compliance.

Discussion

With completed development of the Sanit-Eyes system we have a reliable means of monitoring a hand washing event. This gives a visual record of the hand washing for monitoring the hand washing techniques, and automatically collects data such as the duration of the hand washing event. For adequate monitoring of compliance another parameter is important: hand washing opportunities. The seminal treatise on hand washing monitoring - Measuring Hand Hygiene Adherence: Overcoming The Challenges (http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/hh_monograph.pdf)(hereafter referred to as the joint commission monograph)– was a joint project of many major players including the CDC and WHO. Of the methods of monitoring this study proclaims that direct observation is the “gold standard” of monitoring in that the adequacy of the handwashing (duration, movement, thoroughness of cleansing, etc.) can be determined.  The Sanit-Eyes system continuously uses a camera to take images of a wash station and uses a patent-pending algorithm to filter those images to extract  the washing event from the image stream.  The images during the washing event are sent to a server where they are available as a thumbnail for each day’s events or can be selected as a sped-up representation of each wash event.  The ability to rapidly review any washing event allows counseling and the detection of anyone trying to “fake” the process.  The problem with direct observation as a monitor of hand washing compliance is the Hawthorne effect, where it has been shown that subjects under observation generally perform better.  With the Sanit-Eyes system the observation is continuous so one would expect that the system itself will promote better hand washing compliance.

Monitoring hand washing at a wash station in this manner shows a good representation of the hand washing compliance at a wash station, as well as showing improper use of the wash station such as waste water disposal.  As the joint commission monograph shows, this is part of the problem - the missing piece being those who do not use the wash station. The joint commission monograph supports a better metric.“ Generally, when observation is used to measure hand hygiene adherence, ‘the action is compared with the opportunity’.  The result is called the adherence rate, and it is typically calculated as follows: Total number of acts of hand hygiene when the opportunity existedTotal number of hand hygiene opportunities”

In many cases the total number of hand hygene opportunities are subject to calculation.  For example in intensive care wards it would be expected that everyone entering a patient room for patient care is subject to hand sanitation and should be expected to perform a hand wash.  There are a number of ways to detect a room entry.  A nonexhaustive list would include:

  • RFID badges which could include discrimination between those who should and those who need not wash their hands.  More than one RFID detector could detect direction and/or location within the room.
  • A version of the Sanit-Eyes has been used for years to detect and count entrance to commercial facilities and this could be employed to detect room or corridor entry. Individual identification can be accomplished by facial recognition.
  • The Sanit-Eyes wash monitor could be incorporated into new or planned systems for staff localization in a hospital environment (such as Centrak or SmartSense)

For these methods the identification of individuals in a situation where hand washing is available.  The identity of the person accomplishing the hand would normally be assumed to be the individual in the vicinity but this can be verified by the Sanit-Eyes file.  The identity of the person in the vicinity when no hand washing is observed is one who should be a candidate for counseling.


Traffic Monitoring to Control Infections

Field: Health care providers

Abstract

Often there is a need for pressure control in rooms to limit the entry of air-borne pathogens in the case of positively pressurized rooms (e.g. surgical suites) or to limit the exit of air-borne pathogens in the case of negatively pressurized rooms (e.g. isolation rooms).  While some traffic is necessary there is a desire to restrict such traffic.  A derivative of the Sanit-eyes system has been in use for years to monitor and count store traffic and can be used to record traffic and provide an image of the individual responsible,

Discussion

When there is a need to monitor traffic in a healthcare facility to limit opportunities for introducing pathogens the Sanit-Eyes system has available patent-pending software to detect traffic and record this traffic.  A camera continuously records images of the scene and a proprietary algorithm allows detection of traffic in a defined region of the scene.  Traffic in either direction or all traffic can be can be isolated and trigger a count and storage of the image triggering the count. The count over any period together with the images are safely stored on a password-protected server available for local or remote access.

Occasions where traffic monitoring may be useful include:

  • Traffic that disturbs rooms such as a surgical suite that are kept at a positive pressure to keep pathogens from diffusing into the room.
  • Traffic that disturbs rooms such as an isolation ward that are kept at a negative pressure to keep pathogens from diffusing out of the room.
  • Traffic that includes unauthorized entry into quarantine areas.
  • Unauthorized traffic into drug storage areas.


Identification by Facial Recognition

Field: All

Abstract

The identities of those seen in Sanit-Eyes images can be tied to a database of employees and staff provide a facial recognition identification. This could be retrofitted to existing installations with no hardware changes.

Discussion

When the image includes a face in profile or full-on there is software that can compare the image to a database of staff that will identify the individual and identify those not on the staff.


Incorporation of Hand Sanitation Grading

Field: Health care providers

Abstract

There are algorithms for evaluating hand washes that are more sophisticated than those used in the Sanit-Eyes system but which involve calculations beyond the capability of inexpensive processors. An example of such a algorithm is that disclosed in patent US8090155B2. Since the inexpensive Sanit-Eyes separates a sequence of images specific to a hand sanitation event and uploads these images to a secure server, the Sanit-Eyes can be used as an inexpensive front end for more sophisticated grading which can be done with the computing power of the server to create reports with the hand sanitation events graded.

Discussion

A huge advantage of the Sanit-Eyes system is the low computational requirements and the built-in handling of the event image stream including provision for storage during Internet outages and transmission glitches. It was by design a robust and inexpensive system intended to replace “secret shopper” observation. It was intended that manual observation allows for considerations that automatic systems do not incorporate, such as the presence of jewelry that could hide infections, and the evaluation of how up the arms a complaint wash should require. For summary reporting it is possible that automatic scoring of a hand wash could be desirable in a greater detail than the present tabulation of the duration of active sanitation, although that is more than other monitoring systems offer. If automatic grading of hand sanitation events is desired then the Sanit-Eyes system could provide an inexpensive, robust front end for evaluation algorithms acting to identify hand sanitation events and extracting and storing the image stream from such events. The evaluation could then be done utilizing the off-line computational power of the server. An example of such an evaluation algorithm is that disclosed in patent US8090155B2. This combination would allow multiple inexpensive local collection points feeding a relatively expensive processing center.

Breakaway Systems LLC - inquiry@breakawaysystems.com