Workshop creates a basis for development of future super hygienic intelligent bathroom

A strong desire from the hospital sector for super hygienic intelligent bathrooms that will give staff better working conditions and reduce the risk of becoming infected with multi-resistant bacteria has come a step closer to fulfillment through a workshop organised by Risø Innovation (Risø DTU) in collaboration with Region Zealand and Nykøbing F. Sygehus.

Participating companies and institutions:
  • Aluflam A/S
  • BRUNSGAARD + LAURSEN Arkitektfirma ApS
  • Byggefirmaet Christensen & Dunch
  • Center for Sundhedsinnovation, Region Hovedstaden
  • Clean Management
  • Kolding School of Design  
  • DTU Fotonik
  • DTU Management Engineering
  • Esbensen Consulting Engineers  
  • EVV Energiens Hus
  • Fyrodan VVS
  • Gyproc A/S
  • Hygiejnesygeplejen, Region Sjælland
  • KEN Hygiene Systems
  • Max Sibbern A/S
  • Nakskov Sygehus
  • Nykøbing F. sygehus
  • Nyreforeningen
  • Pressalit Care A/S
  • Region Zealand
  • Risø DTU
  • Ropox A/S
  • SIMI A/S
  • Sygehus Syd
  • Danish Technological Institute 
  • Tømrermester Niels Lien ApS

It started with a workshop in a different health technological ball game
In the spring of 2010 Risø DTU in cooperation with Slagelse Sygehus (Slagelse hospital) held a workshop focusing on equipment for hospitals. Christina Jespersen and David Holm from Risø Innovation organised the workshop in which companies, players from the hospital and researchers met to discuss a number of concrete issues at Slagelse Sygehus.

The issues were the results of a brainstorming session which Slagelse Sygehus had held before the workshop. The participants at the workshop exchanged ideas and discussed lively during three afternoons.

The results were ideas for a new high-tech bucket for the disposal of needles and a hand dryer with integrated UV light for controlling hand hygiene after hand washing, among other things.

Inspiration for a new workshop
Based on the good experiences from Slagelse Sygehus, contact to Nykøbing F. Sygehus (Nykøbing F. hospital) was made and a major renovation was discussed. Pia Bruun Madsen, deputy hospital director at Nykøbing F. Sygehus, was instantly interested. She pointed out that bathrooms would be an important area to look at to reduce the infection risk associated with hospitalisations.

“Consequently, we started to look for companies, researchers and other relevant participants to cover all the competencies that would be needed, if we were to reinvent the hospital bathroom", says David Holm.

They succeeded, and a workshop over two afternoons got off the ground. The participants spent the first half day at Risø visiting the relevant divisions where they were introduced to various technologies such as plasma sterilisation, LED lights and fiber composites. Kurt Reitz, building chief at Sygehus Syd Region Sjælland, made a presentation on the challenges and opportunities it would create when we in Denmark are to build hospitals for up to DKK 40 billion up until 2020.

Rule number one: Avoid contact
It soon became clear that hygiene is the major problem and that touching passes on the infectious diseases that may be extremely difficult to combat.

The detailed wish list for a future ultra hygienic bathroom looks like this:

The bathroom must be non-infectious to reduce hospitalisation days and lost workdays. It must also be able to clean itself automatically in order for the hospital to save labour, detergents, paper, towel washing, energy and water, just like hygiene will be improved.
As a finishing touch this automatic bathroom will make physically disabled patients more self-sufficing.

The photo series above shows that a lot will have to be done in order to stamp out disease germs. Infected fingers appear on the toilet seat, the button for flushing, the door lock, the light switch and on the door handles. 

“The bathroom must be equipped with a maximum use of sensor technologies, among other things, so there will be no need to touch anything. Automatic flush of the toilet, automatic cleaning of the toilet, an automatic tap and a UV-based sensor that will check whether the user’s hands are clean enough to allow the person to leave the bathroom without posing an infection risk to others", says David Holm.

The super hygienic bathroom is a global desire in the care sector, so good opportunities for new export adventures are expected.

Nykøbing F. Sygehus is a solid building of red bricks from 1957 and most of its bathrooms are from that time and need renovation. "It gave us a wide range of opportunities, because regarding the working environment they are too small if there has to be room for an assistant. An increasing number of complicated patients are to be taken into account. We need to reduce the energy consumption. Fall accidents should be prevented more efficiently and the hygiene aspect is an issue, too. Suddenly the dull bathroom was very visionary, "says Pia Bruun Madsen.

Pia Bruun Madsen, deputy hospital director at Nykøbing F. Sygehus

It also became very relevant to take an interest in bathrooms in hospitals because Nakskov Sygehus is going to close down on 1 May. Consequently a department at Nykøbing F. Sygehus is being reconditioned in order to accomodate the beds from Nakskov Sygehus. “We focused on the entire cleaning part in the intelligent touchless bathroom. It should not be possible to open even the door if  you have not washed your hands properly," says Pia Bruun Madsen.

Ivar Moltke from Danish Technological Institute accepted the challenge and has subsequently described the touchless bathroom in the project proposal " Hygienic Intelligent Bathroom Technology". Now, a large consortium has submitted an expression of interest to the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation for getting funding to develop the revolutionary bathroom where CPH Design, Nykøbing Falster Sygehus, Risø DTU and more companies will be partners.

"The results from the workshop were convincing, and we have pledged to make a bathroom availabe that can be used as a laboratory in which we can thoroughly test such a high-tech, intelligent bathroom. We have joined an exciting project and we expect a lot of it”, says Pia Bruun Madsen.

Page updated  by   

Christina Jespersen
Business developers
Risø Innovation (RIA)
Dir tel+45 46774618