SwipeSense Raises A $9.7 Million Funding Round For Its Hospital Hand-Washing Technology

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Evanston, IL-based SwipeSense has raised a $9.7 million equity round according to an SEC Form D filed on June 10. The new funding round brings SwipeSense’s total raised to $12.2 million since its 2011 launch, following a $1.6 million seed round in April 2014, and a $970,000 seed round in September 2012. The details of the most recent round, including the participating investors, were left undisclosed. Previous investors include Jumpstart Ventures and Healthbox. SwipeSense was a member of Healthbox’s first Chicago class in 2011, and went on to raise nearly $1 million after its demo day, money it used to fund a number of pilot programs across Chicago.

Launched by then 21-year old Yuri Malina and Mert Iseri, SwipeSense is working to improve hand-washing practices in hospitals across the US by applying technology to a process that has been monitored through manual observation thus far. The company developed a belt-worn hand sanitizer dispenser and RFID badge that work together to log usage rates by clinicians throughout their shift.  The belt-worn hand sanitizers are supplemented by wall-mounted units that are also able to capture compliance rates from a staff member’s badge. Hand washing compliance data is aggregated from across the hospital and presented to hospital managers on a Web-based platform that highlights compliance rates for the hospital, providing granular detail on individual staff members, shifts, and units. The company claims that hand-washing rates increase over 60 percent after its system is implemented.

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With nearly 2 million hospital-acquired infections accounting for $30 billion in annual healthcare costs and 100,000 deaths annually, the company is working on a problem that has the potential to both reduce costs and improve outcomes. While technology-monitored hand sanitization is a relatively new solution for hospitals, SwipeSense is not operating alone in its market, and in 2013 was sued for patent infringement by competitor Sage Products. The suit might have spelled the end for SwipeSense after a judge ruled in favor of Sage and ordered SwipeSense to pull its technology from the market and pay damages to Sage for prior monetary damages.

Now, with legal issues behind it, SwipeSense is ready to ramp up and has the financial backing to scale its sales and marketing efforts. As SwipeSense moves into the limelight, the business community is taking note; both Malina and Iseri were named to Forbes 30 under 30 this year.


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