Adrian L. ’23 Presents Capstone Project Puriphico

"Towards Clean Hands: How Electronics and AI Can Help the World Achieve Proper Hand-Hygiene"
Adrian L. ’23
Friday, May 5, 8 a.m. via Zoom
RSVP here

On Friday, May 5th, Adrian L. ’23 will present his capstone project as part of Poly’s Global Initiatives Program. The project he founded is called Puriphico, and its mission is to promote a healthier world by encouraging proper handwashing in hospitals using technology.

Similar to an electric toothbrush, which notifies the user after two minutes have passed, Puriphico devices notify the user using LED cues after 20 seconds of handwashing have passed (the minimum recommended time necessary to eradicate nearly all harmful pathogens and bacteria, per CDC guidelines). The difference, besides their different applications, is that the user does not need to “start” a Puriphico device by pressing a button, for example. Instead, Puriphico devices can automatically recognize when someone is washing their hands and assist them accordingly. 

He engineered the first prototype at the end of his eighth-grade year during Project Week at Poly. Over three years of constant iteration, he was lucky to find peers to work on Puriphico and bring it to a stage where it could serve in hospitals. Charlie B. ’23, Max I. ’25, Edith S. ’23, and other graduated students played a tremendous role in helping Puriphico ultimately achieve the first goal of deploying a prototype in a public environment. According to Adrian, this also would not have been possible without the help of Dr. Olah, whose fellowship for creativity in science and engineering was instrumental in helping kickstart the initial prototypes. 

In recent months, pilot testing of beta prototypes yielded remarkable and quantifiable improvements in handwashing compliance at Huntington Hospital. Puriphico has been asked to supply additional devices for large-scale testing throughout the hospital. The device’s effectiveness in encouraging proper hand hygiene has led Huntington Hospital to also include it as one of their products in an initiative to promote public health in Tanzania. 

Results from the research will be openly discussed for the first time during Adrian’s presentation on Friday, May 5. As one of the first studies to quantify handwashing compliance strictly using technology with no human bias or influence, the devices have generated staggering data surrounding hand-hygiene compliance. He will also detail Puriphico’s tremendously exciting plans, as well as the importance of proper handwashing on a global scale, and the challenges currently obstructing its fulfillment.