Minima Design Ltd

MINIMA reveals “HygeSafe” at MEDICA - combating hospital acquired infections

Hyge Safe system by Minima at MEDICA
Minima Design has for the past year been working on a range of products to help minimise the spread of viruses such as C Difficile in health care centres and these prototypes are now being shown at MEDICA 07.

Hospital acquired infections (known as Nosocomial Infections) are recognised as a growing problem in the UK, (currently accounting for some 13,000 deaths p.a.*) and hands are widely accepted as the single most common source of cross infection in healthcare environments.** (It has been proven that health care workers would need to wash and dry their hands for 33 minutes every hour in order to be effective.*** In order to make this possible, there would need to be a sink at every patient’s bedside.)

Minima were asked by their clients Schriptor Ltd and Altevo Ltd, to help them develop a range of solutions that addressed the needs of doctors, patients and health authorities, taking into consideration that thermometers, pens and gloves have been identified as high risk products. The end result is “HygeSafe”, a range of products including a complete dispensing system of single use, bedside mounted products, eliminating the need to carry items that could spread infection between patients.

Alastair Kingsland, Design Director at Minima comments:
‘The key to making a step-change in combating Nosocomial Infections is to provide products which help enforce better hygiene practises without introducing complexity. Medical staff do not have time or the facilities to wash their hands between every patient but they could swap gloves and use a different pen if it was made convenient and easy to do so. By considering the design detail of such items, cross infection can be reduced’.

The products in the “HygeSafe” patient protection system include:


A simple pull tag applied to the wrapper of Dot matrix thermometers enables hygienic and convenient dispensed from new carton packaging and holder. The user simply pulls the drop down tag and removes a single wrapped thermometer from the dispenser when required, without touching the carton or the dispenser itself.


A single use pen with a factory preset ‘ink control’ allowing only a small, pre-determined amount of writing thus ensuring a “use it – bin it” protocol for healthcare workers. The pens are dispensed without coming into contact with the dispenser or the other pens – helping to prevent the spread of hospital acquired infection.

Cuff Ist

Gloves are positioned in a box to ensure the cuff is presented to the user, rather than the fingers, thumb or palm. The user can take a glove without touching the box or other gloves contained within. The box design helps keep the gloves held in the correct position during transit, still enabling easy removal of the gloves once the box is opened.

Already looking to the future, the Hyge Safe system can be adapted to hygienically and conveniently dispense other small, flat-shaped medical and stationery products by simply enclosing the items in a sachet and adding the specially developed pull tag. Items regularly used in clinical environments can be included such as sterile wipes, aprons, caps, masks, shoes, spoons, canulars and markers.

Jonathan W Stollery of Altevo Ltd comments:

“Minima’s designers understood the complexities of the problem and developed commercially viable, innovative products to minimise cross infection, giving us a competitive advantage. We’ve completed five projects with Minima in 2007 and would not hesitate to recommend them.”

Research Sources:

SP Stone: Hand Hygiene the case for evidence based education 2001

** Source:
SP Stone: Hand Hygiene the case for evidence based education 2001
Raquel O Rumbaua: an observational study of hand washing practices of healthcare workers.
Larson EL: APIC guide for hand washing
Dr Peter Wilson: Designing out MRSA at the new UCLH London
Aug 1st MSNBC Article.
Pittett D: Bacterial contamination of the hands

Dr Peter Wilson: Designing out MRSA at the new UCLH London

Editors Note:

Founded 18 years ago and with over 50 patents worldwide, Minima Design is an award winning product design and development consultancy creating design solutions across market sectors including cutting edge medical equipment - from initial concepts through to manufacture.

Minima provides expert knowledge of the medical sector combined with wide experience of new product development, device and packaging design. By understanding its clients’ needs and end users’ requirements, Minima works with its clients to develop, innovate and create successful product solutions.

Its in-house prototyping team enables Minima to quickly design, engineer and test new product designs and its in-house tool making, industrial design expertise and moulding facilities can effectively prove fit and function using a range of production materials.

For more information contact:

Sally Clarke at Active PR & Marketing Ltd
+44 (0) 1728 726608

Alastair Kingsland at Minima Design or at MEDICA - Hall 16 Stand: 16F 10-4-G
a.kingsland@minima.co.uk / 07773 328494 at MEDICA
+44 (0) 1728 727000

Jonathan Stollery at Altevo Ltd
+44 (0) 845 4565440

Kim Jones at Hygesafe
+44 (0) 845 4565571

Caption for Hyge Safe system as seen below:

“Manufactured from recycled materials, the HygeSafe dispensing system designed by Minima, represents a pioneering new approach to reducing hospital acquired infections.”

Further images available from MEDICA Press Office