Samyak (Sam) Shrimali ' 23 was recently named a 2020 National Power of Children Award Winner for his work designing an automated, real-time system to track hand hygiene compliance throughout hospitals. This national award, sponsored by the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, recognizes six middle or high school students from around the country who are making significant contributions to their communities and the world.
Sam's prototype utilizes a bracelet that alerts users to sanitize their hands when they are in close proximity to a patient's bed. It also has modules which conduct proper hand hygiene compliance checks at sinks and alcohol dispensers.
Sam was inspired to start this project last year after learning that nearly 72,000 people in the US die annually from hospital-acquired infections, and a leading cause of these infections is hospital staff hygiene. With the reality of even more infections due to COVD-19, Sam's research has evolved.
"Hospital staff have to work long hours in intense conditions," said Sam. "These conditions cause staff to make mistakes in maintaining hand hygiene compliance and increase the spread of virus. There is a strong need for an innovation that tracks and monitors staff's hand hygiene compliance and sends them alerts when it is required."
Part of Sam's process involved consulting and learning from doctors, nurses and infectious disease experts who helped provide information about some of the financial and physical constraints in a hospital setting. Sam plans to use the grant he received from the National Power of Children Award to improve his prototype with industrial-grade sensors and packaging.
Congratulations on your outstanding and innovative achievement, Sam!