News | November 01, 2016

College of BusinessCollege of EngineeringEagle-SpottingLearningNewsResearch

Student entrepreneurs test device with Lee Health

1 - minute read

An FGCU student startup business has partnered with Lee Health’s HealthPark Medical Center to beta test its product.

Illumitize is a visual alert system designed to encourage workers and visitors to sanitize their hands before touching patients, thus increasing hand hygiene compliance in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Improving compliance could help reduce healthcare-associated infections, which are responsible for 270 deaths nationwide every day.

The product was developed in 2015 by eight students in a hybrid engineering-and-business class. Those still involved in the company are Brian Bradley, David Fleck, Joseph Mukuvi, Allison Sundermeier and alumna Dixibeth Villarraga. Their company has constructed six prototypes that will be installed at HealthPark in south Fort Myers to test the device’s effectiveness.

Sundermeier and Villarraga met with HealthPark Medical Center Chief Patient Care Officer Donna Giannuzzi and Steve Streed, Lee Health system director of epidemiology and infection prevention, in September to discuss using HealthPark as a potential test site.

“We are so grateful and excited to be working with such a prestigious and successful hospital,” Sundermeier said. “We hope that Illumitize has a significant impact on hand hygiene compliance within the Lee Health system.”

In early 2016, Illumitize took a second-place prize of $5,000 at the fifth annual State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Pitch Competition. Competitors consisted of graduate, doctoral and medical level students from eight universities across Florida. Illumitize was one of only a few teams of undergraduates.

The Illumitize team is currently completing the Lee Health institutional review board application and is expected to begin testing in late Fall 2016.

Subscribe to 360
Stay in the Loop
The FGCU360 email newsletter delivers the latest scoop twice a month.