Smart door handle launched to help fight infections

Smart door handle launched to help fight infections

PullClean, a door handle that sanitises your hands, triples the rate of hand sanitisation and provides feedback on usage through a monitoring system, has launched in the UK.

Invented by Altitude Medical UK Co-founders Dr Alex Oshmyanksy and Dr Jake McKnight, PullClean encourages people to clean their hands every time they enter and exit a room, making hand hygiene simple and trackable. It was developed to reduce the spread of viruses and infections in high-footfall setting such as hospitals, care homes, schools and universities, as well as leisure and hospitality venues.

While clean hands can dramatically reduce the spread of germs and infections, one of the biggest obstacles is getting people to use sanitiser regularly, because even with multiple wall-mounted dispensers, they simply forget. A pilot trial of a prototype of PullClean in the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in the USA saw the rate of hand sanitation rise from 24 to 77% after it was installed.

PullClean encourages people to clean their hands by placing the sanitiser in a more direct position and replacing two separate actions (sanitising and then opening a door) into one seamless movement. By increasing hand sanitisation rates, it can help organisations protect patients, customers and staff through reduced incidence of infections.

Dr Jake McKnight, Co-inventor of the device and General Manager at Altitude Medical UK, commented: “Our device offers a completely new way to clean hands. We wanted to make it so easy for people to sanitise their hands that it is almost subconscious. It’s a small step to press a button when you’re already holding the handle anyway. The irony is that handles are usually a big transmitter of bugs but PullClean can help stop them in their tracks and drive down unnecessary, expensive and harmful infections.”

The design is simple: a tube-shaped cartridge is placed in the centre of a hollow door handle, which releases a small amount of sanitiser when a blue paddle button is pressed. Each handle also includes a monitoring system that records a variety of data, from how much sanitiser is left in the handle and when the cartridge should next be changed, to hourly usage stats compared to how frequently doors are opened. For healthcare settings, this can include hand sanitisation rates across wards, shifts and even entire hospitals.

Infection prevention and control is a top priority for all hospitals and care homes. PullClean helps meet Care Quality Commission Infection Prevention and Control Requirements and provides a quantifiable insight into infection control performance.


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