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This St. Louis firm built tech to monitor hand washing. Here's why it now sees a chance for growth.

The technology developed by the small St. Louis company is designed to verify employee hand washing with the use of voice recognition
Credit: SLBJ
The Clean Hands System (left) is designed to monitor employee hand washing using voice recognition.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis firm that has created a hand washing verification system is eyeing an opportunity for growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Clean Hands Co., which manufactures the Clean Hands System, is seeking to turn the pandemic into a chance to increase its customer count and expand its technology’s usage to new sectors.

The technology developed by the small St. Louis company, which counts less than 10 employees, is designed to verify employee hand washing with the use of voice recognition. The Clean Hands System involves a soap dispenser that beeps when used, prompting employees to say their name and have their visit to the sink logged in a database that tracks hand washing compliance.

The Clean Hands Co., founded in 1995, rolled out its system in 2009. Chief Technology Officer Fred Striley said the idea for the company and its subsequent technology came after founder Ray Johnson used the restroom at a grocery store and noticed an employee did not wash his hands. Johnson soon noticed that the employee was the store’s butcher. The company initially tailored its technology for usage by restaurants.

“Based on (Ray’s) experience, that was the need,” said Striley. He described the Clean Hands Co.’s system as a “boutique” product used in a limited number of restaurants, including seven locations of St. Louis-based fast-casual chain Crushed Red. 

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