CIMIT, a consortium of hospitals and engineering schools in the Boston area, has spun out its first startup: Hand hygiene monitoring company HanGenix. The startup's technology automatically detects when a care provider uses a soap or alcohol gel dispenser and if they approach a patient's bed without washing or sanitizing their hands. If a care provider fails to wash their hands before a patient interaction, the system emits an audible beep as a reminder.
The system was developed and built at Mass General Hospital in Boston.
The CIMIT consortium includes participation from Mass General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MIT, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston University, Boston University Medical Campus, Childrens Hospital Boston, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Northeastern University, Partners HealthCare, and VA Boston Healthcare System -- many of which could make use of HanGenix's system.
CIMIT and HanGenix have already begun two "large scale" trials of the system and have verbal commitments from two other facilities.
According to HanGenix, treatment costs for hospital acquired infections (HAIs) now approach $5 billion annually in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 100,000 deaths are caused by HAIs each year. In other words, HanGenix solution is not a technology in search of a problem.
HanGenix offers medical institutions two options for using its solution: Buy the hardware and subscribe to the tracking software service or rent the whole system.
HanGenix has a handful of competitors, including Proventix Systems, which we wrote about earlier this year: In July, Proventix Systems announced a deal with machine-to-machine wireless vendor Synapse Wireless to add wireless connectivity to Proventix’s ZigBee-powered nGage system. Last spring, the University of Iowa was piloting a similar low-cost, ZigBee-enabled system.
More on HanGenix in this press release