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The recent outbreak of the deadly and antibiotic-resistant superbug CPE (carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae), which has a mortality rate of 40-50 per cent recorded among infected patients, in Irish hospitals has highlighted the crucial role of proper hygiene procedure in hospital health.

Two Irish medical technology companies that feel they have the solution to this issue are SureWash and MEG Support Tools, who received industry awards, voted on by delegates from hospitals across the UK and Ireland, at the annual Infection Prevention Society award in Manchester in September.

In collaboration with the GOJO, global hand hygiene company, and The Christie, Manchester, they have demonstrated how “smart hospital” technology has the potential to reduce infections without requiring additional manpower.

According to figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), good hand hygiene could prevent up to 50 per cent of infections in hospitals, which would play a part in preventing the spreading of so-called “super bugs”, which are resistant to anti-biotics and have a high mortality rate.

Validated training and auditing in keeping with WHO guidelines, while necessary, can be resource intensive and therefore are occasionally overlooked.

The results of research carried out was published by the ‘American Journal of Infection Control’ indicated that integrated digital tools could provide both rich data and novel tools that both measure impact and provide feedback to support the implementation of multimodal hand hygiene campaigns.

Analytics were run on the live data from the Christie Hospital to provide feedback for both staff and patients if the standards of hand hygiene practice were slipping.

Throughout the study, patients were encouraged to learn about hand hygiene through gesture recognition and camera based algorithm technology which taught them correct hand hygiene techniques.