Real-Time Crowd-Sourced Oversight of Protective Equipment Donning/Doffing

Technology #33444

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A sample SterilEyes application for the donning/doffing of a hazmat suit.
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Researchers
Greg Welch, Ph.D.
External Link (www.ist.ucf.edu)
Dale Driggs
Shawn Morrison
Managed By
John Miner
Assistant Director 407.882.1136

Crowd sourced review and certifying service enables healthcare workers to have their PPE donning/doffing techniques collectively observed and reviewed in real time

UCF researchers have developed a system and methods that healthcare workers, firefighters and other first responders can use to ensure that they and colleagues worldwide properly don (put on) or doff (take off) personnel protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and other body coverings. The invention, called SterilEyes, enables professionals to record equipment donning/doffing attachment points, stream the recordings to multiple observers, and instantly receive feedback. An example attachment point is the wrist (where latex gloves are pulled over a coverall). 

Faulty or improperly worn PPEs can put a person, such as a healthcare worker or a patient, at risk. Proper donning/doffing is difficult even under the best circumstances, with checklists and local observers to assess the condition of the PPE after/before donning/doffing. The difficulty and risk can increase significantly when workers are tired, under stress or alone. This can happen when fighting an outbreak of a deadly contagion such as Ebola, cleaning up a toxic chemical spill, or confronting a dangerous situation. Common problematic areas include around the waist, cuffs of the wrist and pants and around the neck. SterilEyes promotes safety and preparedness by enabling a one-to-many request for help and pushing one-to-many video/imagery to a crowd. In contrast, similar technology can only provide on-demand video-audio connections from one person to another. SterilEyes also keeps intelligent statistics to help organizations spot mistakes and use the data to improve training programs and equipment. Thus, hospitals and other agencies can use SterilEyes to mitigate hospital-acquired infections and the spread of highly contagious diseases.

Technical Details

SterilEyes uses smart phones, associated apps, back-end computer servers and the internet to provide a crowd-sourced review and certifying service. With an iPhone, for example, a user can videotape a PPE procedure, such as donning a hazardous materials suit, and stream it to multiple locations. A unique user interface enables paid or volunteer observers to instantly send feedback to the user, who can also receive alerts about new reviews and information about the observers. In addition, the system lets users respond with a checklist of actions, provides data administration and stores videos and feedback. SterilEyes dynamically aggregates response data into a collective remote assessment of the protective state of the overall PPE or individual parts. The assessment includes an indication of the quality/confidence of the collective responses. With SterilEyes, participants can be located all over the world to provide 24/7 observer support.

Benefits

  • Low cost
  • Minimizes the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections and the spread of highly infectious diseases
  • Promotes safety and PPE best practices among first responders

Applications

  • Hospitals
  • National labs
  • First responders