AZ Groeninge | Hand hygiene at the nursing station: a smart solution

Design and development of a real-time IoT hand sanitization system with gamification

It was not a pleasant time for many, but let's take a look back at the year 2020. There is a pandemic and as a hospital you want to fully commit to prevention. How do you tackle this? 

One of the crucial elements in preventing the spread of viruses is hand hygiene.

Together with AZ Groeninge hospital from Kortrijk, we came up with an innovative solution to monitor and increase compliance with hand disinfection protocols in an engaging way.

This project was realized as an industry project during the bachelor Multimedia & Creative Technologies.

Custom casing for a sustainable IoT hand sanitization system

The solution consists of a dashboard and its linked, comprehensive backend, a visualization and a custom 3D-printed box. This box fits perfectly into the existing hand pump holders and can be linked to a room or corridor via the digital tool. Thus, the Internet of Things (IoT) system can be easily integrated into current hand sanitization systems. 

Inside the box you will find several electronic components which include a pressure sensor to measure how often the hand sanitizer pump is used and an LED light to visually display battery status, among other things. In addition, you can also find an ESP module inside the case, which sends data and the battery status to the Raspberry Pi, a mini computer, via wifi. 

Branding makes the tool

The interface consists of 2 major parts: a clear monitoring tool for department heads and a nice visualization for the ward. Both elements were designed according to the recognizable brand style guide of AZ Groeninge. This makes it clear to everyone that this is an internally developed tool and this new digital environment immediately feels familiar. 

User-friendly real-time data

The monitoring tool includes a dashboard in which, among other things, current hand pump usage and usage history (which department used the pumps and when) are displayed in easy-to-read graphs.  In the monitoring tool, you can also add new boxes for pumps and track their topical state. 

The monitoring tool was extensively tested with a diverse group of potential users, from digital natives to digital immigrants. These tests allowed the tool to be optimized to achieve a user-friendly result.

Disinfecting hands becomes fun with gamification 

To encourage and positively reinforce hand sanitizing, we implement gamification in the tool. A screen within the department visually displays how often the pumps are used. However, we do not show a boring counter that increases by one each time someone disinfects their hands. No, we provide 2 types of interactive visualizations.  

In the first visualization, the more hand pumps are used, the more dots appear on the screen. When people disinfect their hands often enough, it becomes progressively clearer that the dots are forming an image, in this case the logo of AZ Groeninge. 

The second visualization begins with a screen full of bubbles covering a mysterious, randomly selected image. With each use of the hand pumps, a bubble bursts, revealing the  underlying picture bit by bit.

Improved hand hygiene, fewer infections, motivated staff

The development and implementation of the hand sanitization system demonstrates the power of innovative technologies to promote hand hygiene and increase quality of care.

Do you have a great project idea? Let’s discuss over your favorite beverage!