Physician Develops Bacteria-Busting Wi-Fi Device

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , November 15, 2010
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Then the device was used to collect data for four weeks in August 2009 (with the identity of the wearer blinded). The participants were sent the results on a weekly scorecard (again with their names hidden) to show them how they compared with their colleagues.


"The idea is you could see in real time what your compliance rate is," he says. The device was found to be effective, recording compliance rates similar to those noted earlier through direct observation.

More testing of the device is in store before it heads out to the marketplace. Sahud would like to find whether just wearing the device could increase compliance and if providing individualized feedback on hand hygiene would provide any benefit. His goal, though, remains "to empower healthcare providers" when it comes to better hand hygiene, while not having them feel like they are being continually watched over.

Practices and supporting data

For more than 20 years, Rabih Darouiche, MD, director of the Center for Prostheses Infection and a VA distinguished service professor in the departments of medicine, surgery, and physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Houston, has turned a critical eye to preventing healthcare-acquired infections.

The result has been 13 patents over the years, with a focus on  making devices (e.g., catheters and surgical implants) infection resistant through "antimicrobial modifications." He notes, for instance, that the Food and Drug Administration has approved 10 different devices he has worked on with a combination coating of minocycline and rifampin to protect against device-related infections.

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