Biovigil badge checks to see if your doctor’s hands are clean

biovigil
Designed to reduce the number of infections contracted within hospitals, the Biovigil badge system is a device that clips to the clothing of a medical professional and uses sensors to scan the cleanliness of hands. To accomplish this, the chemical-detecting sensors within the device have the ability to check if hands have been washed with Purell or soap. Assuming the doctor or nurse has washed their hands recently, all they have to do is hold up their hand to the device and the light will turn green.

However, the badge system also communicates with a secondary sensor that’s installed in each patient room. If the sensor detects repeated visits within multiple rooms in the hospital without chemical sensor checks, the light on the badge will turn yellow, then eventually red if continually ignored. Assuming the badge is visible, this will be a warning sign to the patient as the doctor or nurse enters the room. Mentioned by Wired, recent studies indicate that hospital staff only wash their hands between 10 to 50 percent of the time when visiting a patient.

biovigil-badge-nurseIn order to keep hardware costs down for the hospital, badges are actually interchangeable between the staff. In order to swap out the device from someone ending a shift to someone starting a shift, the user simply plugs a USB key into the badge. This key has been encoded with the employee’s identification number.

During the employee’s shift, data collected includes the number of times the employee washed their hands and the number of times an employee visited sensor-equipped rooms within the hospital. Similar to the Fitbit device, all that information is uploaded when the Biovigil badge is attached to the charging station.

Speaking to Wired about the simplicity of the device, Biovigil CCO Brent Nibarger said “A five-year-old can understand it, and a 90-year-old patient understands it. Everyone understands traffic light simplicity. Once you wear this on your chest and have your first patient interaction it instantly changes the accountability and behavior, because no one is going to be running around with a red badge, except in rare circumstances.”

A competing company, General Sensing, has a similar badge that uses a buzzing notification to alert a medical professional when hands are being detected as unclean. However, this device lacks the same transparency for the patient as the Biovigil badge. With a LED visual indicator for everyone to see, co-workers can help remind each other when to wash their hands again. Interestingly, a 2013 study showed that the frequency of handwashing skyrockets when medical staff are being monitored, hitting rates as high as 88 percent when spot checking.

The need for these types of devices is also being encouraged by the U.S. government through regulations that will strip a hospital of Medicare funds if too many patients are getting infections while in the care of the hospital. With that in mind, the cost to hospitals is approximately $2 to $3 per day for each room. Hypothetically, the hospital could easily pass that cost along to the patient while using it as a marketable feature for any potential patient that’s wary of contracting an infection.

Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!