Stopping the spread of superbugs through wireless, real-time location technology: Infonaut partners with George Brown College

University Health Network to test pioneering disease surveillance system, Hospital Watch Live

TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Developed in collaboration with George Brown College, Toronto-based health technology company, Infonaut Inc. has signed a contract with the University Health Network to test its new, real-time disease surveillance system technology. Infonaut's Hospital Watch Live solution will play an important role in preventing and controlling hospital-acquired infections.

Hospital Watch Live has been designed to assist hospitals in controlling and stopping the spread of infectious diseases and is being installed in the acclaimed multi-organ transplant unit of Toronto General Hospital. To guarantee accuracy of its Real-Time Locating System in infection control, Infonaut partnered with a team of applied research faculty and students from George Brown College's Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering Design and Information Systems Business Analyst programs to develop and test the system in a simulated hospital environment.

"We turned to our student partners at George Brown College to assure that our Real-Time Locating System was able to accurately track thousands of moving people and objects inside a clinical environment - while ensuring privacy-invasive events are prevented, before they arise." said Niall Wallace, CEO of Infonaut. "Following the movement of infections as they travel between people and objects requires a highly sensitive locating system. Over the course of 30 months, we were able to test the efficacy of the system in the Simulated Practice Centre of the George Brown College Nursing School, making the necessary modifications along the way to guarantee the utmost precision and present hospital staff and experts with actionable information."

Used in conjunction with Positive Deviance a proven change management process that empowers front lines to solve infection prevention and control problems, it will not only help reduce hospital-acquired infection, but also has the potential to save lives and reduce massive costs to the hospital.

"Nowhere is infection control more essential than in transplant units, where the recovery of patients is dependent on sterile environments," said Robert Luke, assistant vice president of Research and Innovation for George Brown College. "To ensure the success of Hospital Watch Live, George Brown College's Office of Research and Innovation provided access to highly qualified students and our simulated practice centre applied research environment which acted as a catalyst in testing and delivering a system that was thorough, accurate and ready to launch."

The project was made possible with just over $180,000 in combined funding from the federal government's College and Community Innovation Program, supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation sponsorship of the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII).

About Hospital Watch Live

  • Hospital Watch Live follows and records - in real time - the movement, contact and interaction of patients, employees and equipment
  • The system was designed with respect for privacy and is compliant with the Privacy by Design philosophy
  • The system is currently undergoing final trials in Toronto General Hospital's multi-organ transplant unit, installed by a team of students from George Brown College's Computer Systems Technology Program and Mechanical Engineering Design program in collaboration with staff from Infonaut and the University Health Network
  • Following the analysis of the data, the information will be shared with all staff to further reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections
  • Data collection will be anonymous and UHN staff participation is voluntary
  • Data generated by the system will help staff increase hand hygiene compliance, track equipment throughout the unit, respond to infectious disease outbreaks, conduct studies on techniques to increase quality and better protect  patients from exposure to infections
  • Ultimately, this system will help to reduce overall hospital costs and lower enterprise risk

About George Brown College

Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its two main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers 148 full-time and 1,600 continuing education programs across a wide variety of professions to a student body of approximately 63,000 (including those enrolled in full-time, part-time and continuing education programs). Students can earn diplomas, post-graduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees.

About Infonaut

Infonaut is a privately held health technology company based in Toronto with expertise in disease surveillance and infection prevention and control, using state of the art real-time location system (RTLS) technology. Born out of Toronto's SARS crisis, Infonaut has received recognition and acknowledgement from international leaders in hospital infection control, global technology vendors, trade journals, mass-market publications and leading market analysis firms for their unique platform and patented approach to infection prevention and control.

SOURCE George Brown College

For further information:

Natali Tofiloski
APEX Public Relations

Robyn Breslow
APEX Public Relations

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