Touchless hand disinfectant dispensers are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their many advantages. As more and more organizations switch to touch-free dispensers, battery life is a pressing question. How hand disinfections can occur before the batteries need to be changed? To find out, we took a closer look at the leading sanitizer dispenser from the ingo-man® brand.
Hand disinfection is known to be the most important measure to effectively combat infectious agents and protect people from disease. The COVID-19 pandemic led to an explosion of new hygiene infrastructure. Gone are the days when we only expected to find sanitizer dispensers as visitors or patients in healthcare settings. Now many, if not most, public facilities now provide opportunities to sanitize hands. Especially noteworthy was the the increase in the market-share of touchless hand sanitizer dispensers.
What is the ideal power source for a sanitizer dispenser?
Unlike manual hygiene dispensers, sensor-controlled devices require a power source. It is very uncommon to find wired dispensers which plug into a facilities electrical system. Battery-powered hand sanitizer dispensers are much more common as they give facilities greater flexibility to install and move the dispensers anywhere they are needed.
Hand disinfection is particularly important at the point-of-care for patients. A touchless dispenser that has to be plugged into an electrical socket is more inconvenient to place at a patient’s bedside. Since hand sanitizer dispensers also need to be repositioned more frequently in high-traffic entrance areas, batteries are the better choice for most installations. The convenience of untethered touchless dispensers comes with the need to replace batteries.
How many activations?
So how long does batteries in a touchless hand sanitizer dispenser last? So often to be a logistic and budgetary problem or infrequently enough that it proves to be a minor inconvenience? OPHARDT Hygiene, the award-winning innovator in the industry, has conducted extensive research and development work to both answer this question with certainty and ensure that battery life is prolonged. With over 50,000 activations between battery replacements, the touchless ingo-man® Euro dispensers offer incredible efficiency and minimize the amount of maintenance needed.
The factors that determine dispenser battery life
The exact service life of the batteries in a sanitizer dispenser is shaped by various factors. The viscosity of the filling material. For example, liquid hand sanitizers are easier to dispense overall than viscous sanitizer gel or even soap. Less viscous formulas increase battery life. Likewise, the length of time since the last battery change is another influencing factor to consider. This is because the longer it has been since the last battery change, the less effective batteries are. The selection of battery type also plays a role in the operation of touchless disinfectant dispensers.
Finally, we turn our attention to the advantages associated with the use of automatic dispensers. In a comprehensive study, scientists at RWTH University Hospital in Aachen found that the introduction of contactless hand disinfectant dispensers improved the hygiene behavior of nursing staff and doctors. Hospital staff disinfected their hands more than 50 percent more frequently in the hospital ward with the touchless devices.  One reason for this is the greater ease of use.
Automatically operated dispenser systems should be given preference not only because of the lower probability of contamination and transmission, but also because of the greater ease of use and the positive influence on compliance.
KRINKO recommendation on hand hygiene in healthcare.
However, the sensor technology does not just improve things from a behavioral point of view. Because the dispenser is a contact-free system, they reduce so-called smear infections and the risks these infections pose for users.
The Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention at the Robert Koch Institute (KRINKO) even advocates for the use of touchless dispenser systems in its hand hygiene recommendation for the healthcare sector:
“Automatically operable dispenser systems should be given preference not only because of the lower probability of contamination and transmission, but also because of the higher ease of use and the positive influence on compliance.” 
Overall, it shows that the use of touch-free dispensers for hand hygiene increases infection prevention. Battery life can be a minor issue by choosing the right dispenser system and other factors.
Sources for the article “How long do batteries last in disinfection dispensers with sensor?”:
 Scheithauer, S., Haefner, H., Koch, A., Lemmen, S. Increase of alcoholic hand disinfection performance due to new touchless dispensers. Abstracts of 21st ECCMID/27th.
 Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention at the Robert Koch Institute “Hand hygiene in health care facilities.” Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Health Research-Health Protection 9 (2016): 1189.
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