Worried about infections? Wash your hands

Sombit Mishra

This past weekend, I along with a few members of the QMedic team participated in a hackathon sponsored by MGH and Samsung.  In less than 8 hours, we developed an application that automatically and successfully classified hand washing motions using the new Samsung Galaxy Gear S watch.  

Why is this important for MGH? Well...

In hospitals nationwide, over 40% of clinicians and hospital workers are non-compliant with proper hand washing protocols, even though the CDC and World Health Organization cite hand washing as the single most effective way to reduce the spread of infection.  Alarmingly, hospital-acquired infections, which are largely due to poor hand washing and improper scrubbing of central line catheters, kill more people each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined. 

Our team developed the application simply to demonstrate that hand washing motions can be classified automatically and shared with hospital administrators in real-time.

The reality though is that washing hands is important everywhere, and most people are even more careless than hospital workers in maintaining proper hand hygiene.  Whether you're at home or work, you should always wash your hands thoroughly.  Follow the WHO guidelines below to keep you and your family safe...