Rapid Coronavirus tracing to prevent spread of infection - Innovation Fund Denmark (J. no. 0208-00045B).

Project Details

Layman's description

Poor hand hygiene in hospitals and nursing homes poses a high risk to patients, nursing home residents, and healthcare professionals who may become infected with COVID-19. Therefore, DTU and the company Sani nudge are further developing a digital tool aimed at improving hand hygiene among healthcare professionals and tracing the infection. The project has just received a grant of DKK 2.8 million from Innovation Fund Denmark.

The tool is designed as an advanced Dankort payment card system and consists of Bluetooth beacons that provide information about the exact location of healthcare staff. A kind of Dankort chip is installed in the staff members’ name tags, and the chip registers when they walk by a hand sanitizer dispenser or a hospital bed in the department. For example, the system may be programmed to issue a reminder if the employee forgets to disinfect his or her hands at one of the locations.

“One of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection is to disinfect your hands. Hands pose a huge risk as a source of infection of many patients and colleagues in the department,” says Marco Bo Hansen, MD, Medical Director in charge of research in the company Sani nudge.

“Normally, it’s a time-consuming, resource-intensive and manual task to identify who has been in contact with infected persons. We have therefore joined forces to improve hand hygiene and track the movement of healthcare staff in hospitals and nursing homes, so that the areas in which an infected person has been can be disinfected quickly.”

Simple project with great impact
If a patient or nursing home resident is diagnosed with COVID-19, the tool makes it possible to trace which healthcare staff members have been near the patient, and subsequently notify them of a possible infection risk. This gives hospitals and nursing homes an overview of who should be tested and which rooms need to be cleaned to prevent Coronavirus outbreaks. DTU Compute handles the analysis of data from the pilot project.

“We expect to be able to find out if it’s at all possible to trace the spread of infection in this way,” says Bjarne Kjær Ersbøll, who is a professor at DTU Compute.

“The project is very simple, but has a huge impact. We’re already seeing a major impact on the number of new Coronavirus cases and deaths simply from the use of distancing, disinfection, and good hand hygiene. There’s no doubt that improved hand hygiene will have a fantastic effect.”

Over the next few months, the system will be tested in a pilot project at a hospital and a nursing home. It will subsequently be rolled out to more hospital departments and nursing homes.
Short titleCOVID Trace
Effective start/end date17/08/202016/08/2021

Collaborative partners


  • COVID-19
  • Data analysis
  • Health care


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