Stories

Can Automated Machines Change the way we wash our hands?

During the past few years, the future has been racing toward us faster than ever, with innovative ideas changing how we interact with our environment. Just a few decades ago the idea of smartphones, smart cars, and an electronic social network that connects us all seemed like sci-fi. These advancements have made human lives infinitely better. One such change, which is taking place as we speak, has to do with our hand hygiene practices.

Everyone knows washing hands is important, seeing as our hands can carry dangerous germs and viruses after touching contaminated surfaces. Though this is common knowledge, the practice of thorough hand hygiene is lacking in many places all over the world. Having a machine that washes hands automatically can solve these issues. This was exactly Max Simonovsky’s intention when he first founded “Soapy Care”, to create an automated hand hygiene machine that would take the guess-work out of hand washing.

“My son was at this young age when he was just starting to learn about the world,” said Max, “and we tried to instill good hand hygiene habits in him. One day he told me that the sink in his daycare wasn’t working, so handwashing must not be that important. I wanted to take the human factor out of the way to create the safest, most hygienic environment for him, and that’s how I thought of the CleanMachine.”

How will people wash their hands in the future? With the help of an automatic hand wash machine, of course. The CleanMachine is Soapy’s answer to the hand hygiene problem.

The smart hand hygiene station is created for places where a lot of people need to wash their hands thoroughly and effectively, with no time to waste. The CleanMachine is easy to install, requiring only a water inlet and outlet and a regular electricity connection. The touch-free automatic handwash machine activates when hands are inserted, dispensing the exact amount of soap and warm water needed for a perfect wash. Using machine learning and AI technology, the machine scans the hands and evaluates the wash cycle. This data is available immediately for the washer, letting them know if they should wash their hands once more to achieve a better result. The CleanMachine also has a facial recognition feature, storing important hand hygiene data on the Soapy Wisdom platform. There, managers can see hand hygiene trends in their facilities, as well as understand wash frequency and quality among their employees. The CleanMachine can measure the washer’s body temperature as well, adding it to the list of valuable data it can compile.

What are the problems that come along with hand washing? And how does the CleanMachine answer these problems?

It’s invisible

Hand hygiene is considered an “invisible” problem. You can’t know who washed their hands well and who didn’t – but the CleanMachine can help us overcome that barrier. The CleanMachine has a facial recognition feature that allows managers access to important hand hygiene information, such as how many times each employee washed their hands and what quality was the wash. This comes in extremely handy when employees work in sensitive environments such as at a restaurant’s kitchen, a food factory, or even at a nursing home.

At last, hand hygiene isn’t about “trusting” that someone has washed their hands (and did it thoroughly and mindfully) – they now have to answer to management. Different research has shown that when people knew they were watched or filmed washing their hands, they did a better job at it. Knowing what we do of human nature, the facial recognition feature helps employee compliance rates rise when it comes to hand washing. In short, this aspect of automatic handwashing machines will help hygiene standards rise dramatically in workplaces all over the world.

Reasons why employee compliance rate is low

Another problem that is often overlooked is why employees don’t comply with hand hygiene regulations in the first place. This often has to do with comfort. During winter, if the water is cold, employees are less likely to willingly wash their hands multiple times a day. Harsh chemical materials, usually opted for due to their affordable price, also have employees recoiling from the idea of washing their hands or using the hand sanitizer offered by the workplace.

The CleanMachine heats the water per wash individually, creating an ecological solution to the hot water problem. During every wash, the hand washing station dispenses warm water (40 degrees, as recommended by the WHO and the CDC). The CleanMachine works with great soap products, effective enough to kill dangerous germs yet gentle enough on the skin that employees don’t suffer after using it multiple times a day. The CleanMachine can also be turned to an automatic hand sanitizer machine, by fitting a sanitizer bottle in the assigned compartment and changing the settings on the Soapy Wisdom platform.

Improper infrastructure

Though many workplaces are unaware of this, traditional facility settings don’t assist hand washing, and even hinder it at times. For example, if the bathrooms, where the sinks usually are, are far away from working stations employees are less likely to remember to wash their hands apart from bathroom breaks. Sometimes, there are not enough working sinks for everyone, or simply not enough sinks at all. Especially when facing a time crunch at work, employees may neglect washing their hands because of these reasons. The CleanMachine allows workplaces to install automatic hygiene stations wherever they wish, be it the break room or meeting room, close enough for employees to use them comfortably.

Cross-contamination

Bacteria contaminates our hands when we touch previously infected surfaces. That much is easy to understand, but we hardly ever give it much thought during our everyday lives. Have you ever thought about how contaminated that soap dispenser button is? How about the faucet handle? These objects have been previously touched by nearly everyone in the workplace, repeatedly, usually after using the bathroom. You can only imagine what germs and bacteria stick to your fingers once you touch them. The CleanMachine uses motion sensors to dispense the exact amount of water and soap needed for the perfect wash cycle. This diminishes the risk of cross-contamination while hand washing, another aspect of auto hand washing machines that should be celebrated.

Resource wastage

The average person uses between 1.5 – 2 liters of water while washing hands. That is an unsustainable amount of water wasted for countries facing droughts or lacking in water resources. Heating a large amount of water also wastes electricity, pumping bills up for business owners. Not heating enough water leads to employees not washing their hands because of the cold, unpleasant sensation, especially during winters. The CleanMachine answers these issues easily. The auto hand washing machine uses an average of 250 milliliters per wash – the equivalent of one glass of water, which is the exact amount of water needed. It also saves up to 65% of reagents such as soap, otherwise wasted. The machine is extremely efficient in electricity, heating the water for each wash separately, instead of the “old fashioned way” of heating a large amount of water and either running out or using too much electricity to heat too much. The CleanMachine is the ecological way to wash your hands thoroughly.

Hand washing machines and everyday life

Machines have already changed how we live our lives. From the moment we open our eyes, we check our phones to see what’s new on our social media. We brush our teeth with an electrical toothbrush, blow dry our hair, or shave our beards with electrical devices. Then we get into a large metal machine with an engine. You get the picture. Machines can help us better our lives, and that includes creating safer environments for all of us. Not only those with immune deficiency can lead safer lives when we have cleaner hands, but even healthy adults are affected by infectious diseases that could have been prevented.

A research team discovered that France lost 14 billion euros a year because of poor hygiene – accumulated in sick days, time spent off of work searching for the bathroom due to an upset stomach, and time spent cleaning bathrooms after the latter have used them. Other countries weren’t that far behind, with Britain reportedly losing 13.7 billion euros and Germany 12.6 billion euros. All of this – because of a lack of hygiene.

Hand washing is a nearly perfect example of “the butterfly effect” – if one person doesn’t wash their hands well, their action affects their environment, and ultimately the economy.

In modern society, we tend to rush through things. When was the last time you mindfully washed your hands? Really paid attention to each movement? Can you even remember?

A lot of people think that just splashing their hands with water and a bit of soap is fine, but it’s not. Soap can dissolve a virus’s structure, rendering it inactive. But that soap must be frothed and spread evenly while practicing the correct movements. Using automated hand washing machines to measure the quality of the wash, how much reagents are used, and more can help us reduce the risk of contamination. The ECO Hygiene Micro-Station uses machine learning and specialized motion sensors to follow hand movements, and users get an immediate evaluation of their handwashing cycle.

If you want to learn more about the CleanMachine, you can contact us here.

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