“Everything that we were hoping for has happened,” says Industrial designer Hân Pham, on her recent success with her life-saving design, Yellowone Handsafe. After years of hard work and rigorous testing, the long-awaited product will officially be launched this year.

Hân Pham (pictured) has been widely recognised for her impressive designs for the healthcare sector. She was a former INDEX: Award 2007 People’s Choice Winner, INDEX: Award 2015 Finalist and 2015 Investment Summer School candidate. Her business has gained some serious momentum over the past six months, and now the commercial release of the Yellowone Handsafe is just around the corner.

Washing your hands is a quick and simple procedure, not to mention an absolutely essential one when working in healthcare. But, studies show that it still remains a huge problem in hospitals, as staff often skip it due to busy schedules or emergencies. Every year hospital-related infections kill 16 million patients around the world, and many of these could have been avoided by proper disinfection. Looking to tackle this issue, the Yellowone Handsafe was created: a simple, wearable “point of patient care” alcohol-based hand rub dispenser. By making hand disinfection much easier and faster, the product helps reduce the spread of microbes that cause healthcare associated infections.

Since the INDEX: Award events last year, Hân has fast-tracked the progress of the Yellowone Handsafe. After holding clinical tests throughout September 2015 to February 2016 in seven Danish hospitals and one in India, the feedback has been extremely positive, says Hân.

“It’s become clear that it works in a variety of clinical settings and the level of hand hygiene has been increasing,” she said. “The staff are proud to wear it and many are wanting to continue to use the product.” A number of hospitals in Switzerland and the Netherlands have now expressed an interest, she added.

The product has also been successfully used with paramedics, according to the designer. Hân explained that she received some particularly helpful feedback and support from Falck – the world’s largest ambulance service, operating in 45 countries.

“I’ve made some adjustments to the product based on user-evaluation – we now have a 2.0 version,” she said.

It’s not surprising that this simple, pertinent design has achieved great success. But what distinguishes the product from similar designs is the integration of ‘human intuition and natural behaviour’ factors. As a positive constant reminder, the design “encourages the staff to disinfect their hands correctly without even thinking about it,” explains the designer.

“It’s not just about hand hygiene, but also about highlighting professionalism and professional pride,” Hân explained. “It also improves the trust between staff and patients.”

“It’s visible and everyone understands it, making the product an ambassador for hand hygiene.” 

Remarkably, the product has also drawn attention from the food and drink industry, and according to Hân, this is where the product will make its first commercial splash in June.

“Not only does wearing the Yellowone Handsafe make staff more efficient, but it also sends positive signals to customers,” she explained.

In the longterm, Hân is looking forward to seeing the Yellowone Handsafe continue its expansion throughout Europe, and hopes that by 2020 the product will be used globally. Hân also has great ambitions to promote the use of ‘human behaviour and intuition’ aspects in design.

“It’s been so rewarding to see the users learn from the way the product is designed,” she explained. “I would love to write a book about my experiences – I think many others could benefit from this knowledge.”

“In order to make our healthcare systems the best they can be, it’s essential that we integrate a social approach into all design.”

We look forward to seeing the Yellowone Handsafe make its debut this summer. To read more about our Investment initiatives, which could help commercialise your design, click here.

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