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Innovative hand hygiene support to improve patient safety by reducing Healthcare Associated Infections


Richard Cooke



Product Product

Poor hand hygiene in clinical settings is a historic problem and still continues to be a crucial problem to date. Hand hygiene is a key component to preventing the spread of germs and bacteria in hospitals. There have been attempts to solve the issue at an operational level by adding more sanitation units throughout hospitals, however over 300,000 patients still suffer from healthcare-associated infections each year creating an annual cost of £1 billion to the NHS.

Nova co-founded Hy-genie with Dr Richard Cooke, a founder with years of NHS knowledge and who had recently retired from his position as the ‘Director of Infection Prevention & Control’ at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. We worked with Richard to create what is now known as Hy-genie, an active monitoring system that allows hospitals to continuously detect usage of hand hygiene stations. The platform provides real-time insight into hand hygiene behaviour, with an aspiration for 100% compliance in hospitals. The system aims to significantly reduce the risk of patients developing healthcare-associated infections.


How Nova Helped

The team at Nova worked with Richard using our lean startup process to create rapid development of early prototypes and a minimum viable product (MVP). Working together we established a clinical user group of over 30 people to obtain regular feedback throughout development for quick validation as well as keeping a strong focus on putting clinical staff at the heart of the work. Next steps for Hy-genie are that the product will undergo clinical evaluation in a number of hospitals and NHS trusts. The Hy-genie system is fast developing to help hospitals automatically monitor hand hygiene 24/7.

Active monitoring

Preventing healthcare
associated infections

Detect usage of
hand hygiene stations

“The NHS has a lot to learn from Nova’s approach to digital health innovation... I particularly liked the focus my tech startup team had on putting clinical staff at the heart of our innovative work, as well as getting their feedback to test and iterate on what we have created”

Dr Richard Cooke, founder of Hy-genie

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