PullClean gets a handle on sanitation

INNOVATION Altitude Medical PullClean (Medium)

Do you eye the grubby area around door handles with suspicion? Are we the only ones who wonder if the person pushing the door coming out of the public toilet has washed their hands?

Now an innovative door handle that sanitises hands, triples the rate of hand sanitisation rates and provides feedback on usage has been launched in the UK by former Oxford University students, Dr Alex Oshmyanksy and Dr Jake McKnight.

The duo are marketing the product through Oxford-based Altitude Medical UK. PullClean encourages people to clean their hands every time they enter and exit a room, making hand hygiene simple and trackable. It was developed to reduce the spread of viruses and infections in hospitals, care homes, schools and universities, as well as leisure and hospitality venues such as hotels, restaurants, shopping centres and airports.

To mark its UK launch, PullClean can be seen at the Science Museum as part of a new exhibition, ‘Superbugs: the fight for our lives’, which explores how society is responding to the challenge of antibiotic resistance and bacteria evolving into superbugs. The exhibition is on until Spring 2019.

PullClean encourages people to clean their hands, by placing the sanitiser in a more direct position and replacing two separate actions (sanitising and then opening a door) into one movement.

According to Dr Jake McKnight, co-inventor of the breakthrough device and General Manager at Altitude Medical UK: “We wanted to make it so easy for people to sanitise their hands, that it is almost subconscious.”

The design is simple: A tube-shaped cartridge is placed in the centre of a hollow door handle, which releases a small amount of sanitiser when a blue paddle button is pressed.

Each handle includes a monitoring system that records data, from when the cartridge should be replaced, to hourly usage stats.

PullClean handles are already in use in the USA by the Hilton and Marriott hotels, as well as hospitals, care homes, doctor surgeries, restaurants and universities.

PullClean was conceived by Dr Alex Oshmyansky, while working as a junior doctor at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford. In conjunction with fellow University of Oxford PhD student, Dr Jake McKnight, a product design engineer, PullClean was devised.

Altitude Medical has the backing of investors including Bob Wigley, Chairman of Victoria Beckham Ltd, Vesta Ltd, Ellestone Partners LLP and Bink Ltd. Other investors Khaled Said, the son of Wafic Said, the benefactor of Oxford University’s business school, and Philip Seers, a tenured investor who now also acts as a board member.