Hand Sanitizer

Every year 2 million patients get preventable antibiotic resistant infections in the hospital and 90 thousand die as a result.

"Doctors and nurses wash their hands one-third to one-half as often as they are supposed to. Even if you get the whole process down to a minute per patient, that’s still a third of staff time spent just washing hands. 

With alcohol finally in wide use the compliance rates for proper hand hygeine improved substantially, from 40% to 70%. But the hospital infection rates did not drop one iota. Our 70% compliance just wasn’t good enough.”

-Dr. Atul Gawande, Author of Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance

Based on my research I developed these design criteria: 

Convenience Device must be portable, wearable, fast, used with one hand

Memory Device must be bold, prominent, not hidden in pocket 

Accountability How much gel the doctor has used must be visible

Aesthetic Device must be patient-friendly, fit into hospital setting

Initially I wanted to keep the device out of the pocket, so I focused on designing it so it had to be worn in a very specific way, such as on the pager or stethoscope. The med students I interviewed thought that would be frustrating, so I designed it so it would be portable in many ways, but not a good idea to keep in a pocket. It demands attention because it can easily discharge if it is squeezed or bumped. I also made tons of form study models, but sadly, all the models from this project were lost.

I asked a med student TA to try out my designs.

These are photos of the final looks like model I made for this project and a diagram of how it is used. It can be worn any which way the doctor or nurse wants, but if it is bumped it will likely make a mess, so it "gently" encourages mindfulness.