'Virtual' nurse promotes hand hygiene

30th of January 2012
'Virtual' nurse promotes hand hygiene

A 'virtual' nurse who greets visitors and reminds them about the need for good hand hygiene is being trialled at a hospital in the UK.

This is the first time such a futuristic approach to infection control has been used. The trial at University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust is being funded by cleaning services provider Interserve Facilities Management.

A hologram is produced by reflecting high definition video projectors onto a specially developed material to give a clear image. It can be set to appear as different people or animations, and the pre-recorded messages it speaks can be changed to reflect current information.

If the trial is successful the trust plans to introduce more virtual nurse units, and also to expand their role to include 'way-finding services' as well as giving area-specific information.

A two-hour trial of the virtual nurse at the end of last year suggested it could substantially increase the use of hand gel. The number of visitors using sanitiser placed at the entrance to the hospital increased from 2.1 per cent to 33 per cent when the virtual nurse was switched on.




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