WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The COVID-19 pandemic has put new attention on the importance and benefits of hand-washing with soap and water.
Now, a Purdue University-affiliated startup has created a way for patients to wash their hands using soap and water without leaving their hospital or medical beds.
Angie Washburn, a respiratory therapist and entrepreneur, founded Project Process and created a portable bedside sink.
“I realized through my time in health care and business that there needed to be a better way to advance patient care by washing hands with soap and water at the bedside,” Washburn said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of soap and water in helping to stop the spread of disease and improve patient health. Sometimes things like hand sanitizer and wipes are not effective and you need soap and water, such as when hands are visibly dirty.”
Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield, Indiana, is serving as a testing site for the bedside sink technology.
Washburn completed the Firestarter program with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization hub housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Purdue’s Discovery Park District, adjacent to the Purdue campus. Her startup is now part of the Purdue Foundry’s Double Down Experiment, which includes six high-growth businesses.
Washburn worked with Nathan Hartman, Purdue’s Dauch Family Professor of Advanced Manufacturing and head of the Department of Computer Graphics Technology, as well as co-executive director of the Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center (IN-MaC). The center worked with Washburn to create a prototype of the portable bedside sink.
“All of the Purdue community has just been so wonderful in helping me as an entrepreneur,” Washburn said. “It is an amazing entrepreneurship community that embraces ideas and moves them to impact.”
Washburn has worked with some health care companies to refine her model, and she’s looking for additional partners. For more information, visit Project Process, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 317-625-1959.
Project Process gained a grant from the Indiana Technical Assistance Program.
Washburn also has worked with gBETA Indy and the Indiana IoT Lab, and received a certificate in women’s entrepreneurship from Cornell University A patent has been filed for the portable bedside sink.