10% of women and 20% of men do not wash their hands when leaving a public washroom.
How do you avoid potentially picking up infections from them when grasping the handle to leave?
In ordinary life this device, which allows one to leave cleanly without any risk of contamination, can reduce the occurrence of infections like stomach upsets.
Medical personnel would find it particularly useful in public areas of hospitals.
However, in the current situation, as the movement restrictions are eased, the need to keep clear of covid-19, which can survive for several hours on the metal handles of doors, is really important.
It is a hook device, which is not novel, they do exist but have a major shortcoming. What do you do with the hook after you’ve used it? Put it in your purse, pocket or keychain? All of those merely store up contamination for later.
With our device, the hook is retracted away from possible contact with skin immediately after use. This way it can be rinsed or sprayed with disinfectant when you get home.
This could be carried on the person and used in public washrooms whenever necessary. It could be particularly useful for medical personnel.
The market would be throughout the world. Wherever there are public or heavily used washrooms. Potentially billions of sales.
The hook is housed in a hollow casing with a button on the bottom. When you need to use it, push the button and the opening hook extends from the other end. You open the door and then release the button and return springs retract the hook into the casing.
A simple rugged polymer body, hook and button can be injection moulded at low cost. The only other component is the retraction spring, which is a standard light weight stock spring.
Assembly is by push-and-clip-fit.
Costs are similar to competing products, in fact the most common, relying on the slow antibacterial effects of copper is considerably more expensive to make.
The public good will be served by:
Reducing the incidence of stomach upsets and the discomfort and lost productivity resulting
The quality of life is served also by reducing the anxiety that many feel when touching washroom door handles
It is likely also to save lives in the coming months and years.
It will reduce consumption and waste of bathroom tissue, which is often used as a shield for washroom exit and the energy and cost of supplying it.
The economy will benefit from a lower burden on the medical profession and lost time recovering from disease.