The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that one of every 20 patients gets a hospital-acquired infection each year resulting in the loss of numerous lives and an estimated $28 billion dollars annually for the American health-care system.
Originally developed out of research at the University of Florida HyGreen is designed to help stem the spread of these infections by recording all "hand hygiene events" in a hospital and gentle reminding healthcare workers to wash up before they interact with a patient.
The system works using a combination of wireless sensors and device feedback notifications. After washing up with soap or gel healthcare workers place their hands under a wall mounted HyGreen sensor. When this device detects there is alcohol on the workers hands it sends out a wireless "clean" message to a badge worn on the care providers shirt where it uses an LED to glow green to notify the patient of the process.
Near a patients bed an additional wireless sensor also looks for the message and if not detected will use the badges buzzing notification system to remind the worker to wash their hands before interacting with the patient.
All of these interactions are recorded in real time showing exactly who on the staff is washing properly. A health care workers ID, and the time and location of the interaction are all passed onto "HyMarks" the real-time reporting database where administrators can review the data and issue noncompliance warnings to individuals or specific units of a facility.
More details about the system can be found at: Hygreen.com or in the overview video embedded below.