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Is Hygiene Really in Our Hands?

Interview with Max Simonovsky, Founder and CEO of Soapy

With the emergence of Coronavirus (COVID-19),
the World Health Organization, the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention, and numerous
other internationally recognized health organizations
have stressed the importance of frequent, as the
most reliable preventative measure against
infection. As of mid-March 2020, over 1,700,000
people worldwide have been infected with
coronavirus, with up to 10 percent of those cases
labeled “critical” or “serious.” But the simple act of
washing hands with soap works against the
coronavirus on two fronts, breaking the lipid case
around the virus (crippling its ability to infect), and
making hands slippery so that germs can be easily
washed away. Soapy hygiene micro-stations can help
to halt the spread of COVID-19 and literally save
lives by ensuring that users get an easy and effective
wash–the right amount of soap, water, and time,
every time.

Soapy is a first-of-its-kind, IoT-enabled, AI-enhanced smart sink that facilitates easy, effective, and hygienic handwashing for users of all ages.
Soapy is specifically calibrated to deliver the right amount of water and soap – and ensures each wash-cycle lasts for the correct duration – all in perfect compliance with and hand hygiene guidelines. Moreover, Soapy’s AI monitors whether users are
washing their hands thoroughly, and cover all areas of the hands. The hand-wash data is collected for individuals and groups of users, and can later be used to ensure that everyone is following safe hand hygiene protocols and can help find troublesome
points. This makes Soapy a perfect tool for schools, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, community centers, and anywhere that people congregate and
need to wash hands effectively.

Despite the clear connection between poor hand-hygiene and sickness, many people wash their hands incorrectly or do not wash them at all. What are the main reasons for this?

– Washing our hands is a manual process, a muscle-memory type of skill that we have never been taught properly. While we know it is important to wash our hands and many of us even make sure to wash frequently, there are very few people who know HOW to wash their hands properly. It’s an educational gap. The result is that people have the illusion that they are maintaining a high level of hand hygiene when in fact their hands are not as clean as they should and could be.

The ECO micro-station takes the guess-work out of the handwashing process with a built-in feature that indicates to the user when the wash cycle is completed to a high standard.

How is Soapy breaking the morbidity cycles of infectious diseases? Share with us some of your case studies

– In order to answer this question properly, we need to look at the morbidity cycle’s stages.

* Patient 0 carries a germ or virus in them, and in a common and unaware gesture touches their face, or coughs or sneezes into their palm.

* Again, unaware, Patient 0 then touches either a surface (which then becomes contaminated) or a colleague (Patient 1) who then becomes a carrier and spreading source of the illness.

If Patient 0 or Patient 1 washed their hands often (before they transmitted the germ or virus to others), the cycle can be broken – the disease will not be transmitted and the spread will be halted.

On a large scale, when many people practice the necessary level of hand hygiene then the spreading of illnesses can become much slower.

This idea is particularly critical in institutions that affect public health on a broader magnitude – nursing homes and hospitals that work with rick-group populations, food factories, schools. Instilling proper standards of hand-hygiene in these institutions can help break the morbidity cycle I just described.

How can Soapy solve hygiene problems in developing countries?

– The ECO micro-stations were designed with water, soap and energy conservation in mind. The micro-station enables a high-quality wash cycle with 95% less water and 60% less soap than a hand wash cycle completed in a regular sink. In addition, the ECO unit’s installation is very easy.

People in developing countries, children in particular, are exposed to illnesses that are easily prevented with the implementation of basic hygiene. But due to water scarcity and lacking facilities, there is not much access to soap and water.

ECO micro-stations can be installed in schools and other institutions in rural areas where they can be a wonderful tool for effective hygiene maintenance.

How is COVID-19 affecting the demand and supply of your company? How are you coping with its implications? 

– The demand for ECO micro-stations has never been higher. We have received a tremendous amount of inquiries from both clients and potential distributors who are interested in our product. Different international media outlets have also covered our product over the last few weeks.

We are, in fact, sold out until the next supply of units arrives in a few weeks. Our sales are now focused on units that will be delivered starting late May to early June.

The demand requires us to find new solutions for supply challenges every day – which is a positive challenge for us.

What are some of the lessons you learned throughout your entrepreneurial journey? 

– Iterate fast

– Know your client and market

– A good solution for one market may solve problems in other markets as well

What is the long-term vision of your company?

To continue and supply the smartest solutions for hygiene that answer the growing regulations and needs in the world.

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