Company develops device that detects contaminants after hand-washing

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the importance of thorough hand-washing under the microscope.  An estimated one in six people get sick each year from foodborne illnesses, and now, a New York company is hoping to change that with a two-second test.  

The Pathspot hand scanner shines a specific wavelength of light to expose contaminants. 

 A growing number of restaurants, farms, and packing facilities are embracing the technology, where food-borne illnesses are a big concern and lousy handwashing is the most common culprit.  

Pathspot is mounted on the wall next to sinks.  Right after someone washes their hands, they simply place them underneath the unit.  A green light indicates a person is clear and a red light means you need to rewash your hands.

“Contamination really hides in a lot of areas…under your fingernails, under jewelry, or the wrist areas.  People don’t realize you need to wash your wrist and maybe you didn’t complete the full 20 second hand-wash and only washed for 10 seconds.  We’re trying to build this quick check that takes less than two seconds,” said Christine Schindler, CEO of Pathspot.

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 The device also tracks how often you wash your hands.  

It doesn’t specifically detect COVID-19, but if those unseen dirty particles are washed off, it’s more likely any virus is washed off too.

Pathspot’s developers believe the technology could become a more common safety tool in public area and offices. This includes hospitals, schools, nursing homes, airports, even every day life.  Our goal is to bring everyday use cases, so we’re able to prevent these illnesses anywhere they could be,” Schindler says.

Pathspot costs a restaurant or business about $175 a month for the device, but it includes data tracking.

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 This story was reported from Los Angeles.