NHS to Tackle Hospital Superbugs With Groundbreaking Irisys Infrared Technology

By Irisys, PRNE
Monday, February 7, 2011

Solution Aims to Save Lives - and GBP1 Billion Every Year

LEAMINGTON SPA, England, February 8, 2011 - NHS figures show that about nine per cent of patients actually acquire
infections during a hospital stay. This costs the Health Service around
GBP1billion annually - money that could be saved by something as simple as
regular hand washing.

As part of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), the National
Institute for Health Research Invention for Innovation programme has awarded
a two year contract to British infrared specialist, Irisys, to develop
sensors to drive improvement in compliance with hospital handwashing

Together with associated communication and reporting systems, the result
will be a groundbreaking automatic monitoring and alerting system that will
be affordable and non-intrusive. Initially designed for the NHS, the system
will subsequently be applicable to all healthcare providers, and to other
industries such as food processing and handling.

The impact of pathogens such as MRSA and C-difficile on the NHS first
came to prominence in the 1990s. Many people carry these bugs with no effect
on their day-to-day health. But in a hospital environment, the situation
becomes potentially life-threatening.

Hand cleansing is a key way to cut infection rates. To reduce the
possibility of passing infection between individuals, any person having
contact with patients should wash their hands thoroughly…

    - when they first enter a patient area

    - before and after touching a patient

    - before leaving an area or moving to another patient after touching
      anything else

The Irisys solution is called the Intelligent Handwashing Monitor (IHM).
The system looks at the behaviour of personnel in the hospital environment so
that handwashing compliance is improved in line with established procedures.
The infrared system monitors movement in and out of a specific area; and the
number of times each handwash unit is used. Compliance rates are then
calculated, displayed locally and reported.

The IHM project complements the Irisys existing programme in Assisted
Living, where the company is developing infrared sensing products and systems
that can help to monitor elderly and disabled people and others at risk of
injury, without intruding on their privacy. It represents another significant
step by Irisys into the healthcare market.

Data source: National Audit Office report, 17 February 2000

Website: www.irisys.co.uk

Media contact: Richard Strange, Strange PR, +44(0)7976-851797, Email: richard at strangepr.com

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