Low power RF technology enables intelligent hand hygiene system to prevent hospital infections
September 09, 2011 // Paul Buckley
Low-power wireless chip technology from NXP Semiconductors N.V. is being used the HyGreen Hand Hygiene and Recording System, designed by HyGreen, to capture and transmit data on hand washing by healthcare workers, helping to improve hospital hygiene. The innovative solution actively reminds busy healthcare workers to wash their hands, and records all hand-washing events and patient-staff interactions in the hospital environment.
Hand washing is the single most important procedure for preventing infections, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nevertheless, contaminated healthcare workers' hands continue to play a major role in transmitting infections, contributing to prolonged hospital stays, long-term disability, increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics, high costs for hospitals and patients, and even death.
HyGreen is using the NXP JN5139 wireless microcontroller and the JenNet wireless network protocol stack optimized for low-power, low-data rate, cost-sensitive applications, and plans to start using the JN5148 microcontroller later in 2011. Based on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification, JenNet enables a robust, self-healing network that helps HyGreen track all hand-washing events, as well as which patient bed each healthcare worker has visited, allowing hospitals to effectively monitor adherence to hand hygiene protocols.
After cleaning his or her hands with soap or gel, a healthcare worker places them under a HyGreen sensor which sends a wireless “all clean” message to his or her HyGreen badge, which then blinks green. When the healthcare worker approaches a patient bed, the HyGreen monitor above the bed checks if the badge is transmitting an “all clean” signal. If the badge is not green, the badge vibrates, reminding the healthcare worker to wash. Reports on hand-washing compliance are available to hospital management in real time.
“Leading hospitals are counting on us to deliver a hand hygiene system that improves personnel hygiene and ultimately helps to improve their bottom line by reducing healthcare-associated infections. NXP has helped us design and deliver a highly reliable solution that is cost-effective and very easy for hospitals to maintain,” said Ron Youngblood, vice president of operations, HyGreen, Inc. “After months of use, the HyGreen Hand Hygiene and Recording System continues to offer excellent battery life, thanks to the ultra-low power consumption of NXP's wireless module, which uses only one-tenth the power required by WiFi.”
“The HyGreen Hand Hygiene Reminder System is a revolutionary solution that demonstrates how 'smart' wireless technologies can help to tackle a major challenge in the healthcare industry – improving patient care, saving lives and saving costs,” said Jim Lindop, chief strategist, Low Power RF product line, NXP Semiconductors.
Information on the HyGreen Hand Hygiene Reminder System is available at www.hygreeninc.com.
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Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturer Ciseco has launched the Raspberry Pi ‘Wireless Inventors Kit’ (RasWIK), featuring 88 pieces to provide everything a Pi owner needs to follow a series of step-by-step projects or to create their own wireless devices, without the need for configuration or even writing code.
RasWIK has been designed to be highly accessible, demystifying the dark art of wireless and enabling anyone with basic computing skills to begin building wireless devices with a Raspberry Pi. You can create anything from a simple traffic light, to a battery monitor, or even a temperature gauge that sends data to the Xively IoT cloud so billions can access the data.This month, Ciseco is giving away twelve Raspberry Pi Wireless Inventors kits, worth £49.99 each for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
And the winners are...
In our previous reader offer, Farsens was giving away five kits for EEtimes Europe readers to evaluate its FenixVortex, Kineo and X1 wireless, battery free sensor tags.
Lucky winners include Mr A. Neil from the UK, Mr. E. Delvaux from Belgium, Mr Lengal from the Czech Republic, Mr H. Bijlsma from the Netherlands, and Mr G. Pfaff from Germany. All should be receiving their packages soon. Lets wish them some interesting findings with their projects.
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