By Joe Dermody
Irish tech company SureWash has launched a hand-washing app for health professionals, workers and the general public.
The easy-to-follow gamified app guides people to wash their hands to World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. The WHO estimates that 50% of infections could be prevented with better hand hygiene.
SureWash, a spin-out from Trinity College Dublin, is a founder member of WHO POPS (the WHO Private Organisations for Patient Safety), a group which helps the WHO promote safe hand hygiene in Healthcare.
The company is already working with 200 hospitals and a range of sports organisations across the world helping them implement hand hygiene training systems.
SureWash co-founder, Professor Gerard Lacey, said:
The most common place for microbes to breed are on the fingertips, which are often missed when people wash hands. And we typically touch our faces, usually with our fingertips, between 16 and 20 times per hour.
“This should be a process that we continue during the regular flu season even when this pandemic is over. During flu season, one in three staff bring home the flu to their children. However, if we wash our hands regularly and correctly, studies have shown that we can cut the number of sick days by 20%.”
The company is also warning against wearing jewellery or chipped nail polish at this time.
“A simple wedding band is alright but jewellery – such as engagement rings – that have crevices where the virus can hide – should not be worn during this time. Also, chipped or worn nail polish should all be removed. Nail beds are a hot bed for the virus and should be kept immaculately clean,” said Prof Lacey.
SureWash is a scientifically-validated training technology for the WHO hand hygiene protocol.
SureWash was established in Dublin ten years ago in response to previous global epidemics, such as SARS and MERS.