Lab Canada

Intelligent hand washing system to be commercialized

Toronto, ON May 22, 2003 Medical technology company Hart Biotechnology says it has acquired the worldwide rights to a patented intelligent self-cleaning hand washing system that can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The hand washing “kiosk” was developed at the Centre for Studies in Aging (CSiA) at Toronto’s Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre.

“Hand washing has always been an effective, simple method of fighting disease, but recently with the onset of SARS and prevalence of other infectious diseases, the need for a system such as this has increased,” says Andy Hart, president of Hart Biotechnology.

The system was originally designed for ease of use and easy accessibility in a hospital environment, but now with the heightened awareness of the necessity and benefits of hand washing the company says it expects the market for the product to be greatly expanded. In October of last year, the Centers for Disease control published a report entitled “Guidelines for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings”, in which they discussed the importance of hand hygiene in controlling the spread of infection in hospital settings.

To use the system, a person would approach the hand wash kiosk, push a button and a sink appears. A stream of warm water flows onto the hands automatically, along with a germicidal soap. People then wash their hands and a stream of clean water provides a rinse. An integrated sterile air-drying system then is used to dry the hands. The user removes their hands; the sink closes and is sanitized automatically, ready for its next user.

The company says it is currently seeking partners in the area of manufacturing, distribution and installation for this equipment and expects to be able to begin installations later this year.

Hart Biotechnology is a medical technology company that acquires and commercializes novel medical and biotechnology products.