Christine Schindler was obsessed with handwashing way before COVID-19 came along.
In 2017, as foodborne illness outbreaks were plaguing businesses like Chipotle and wreaking havoc on public health across the country, she understood how to solve the problem. “No one walks into a restaurant with a vial of E. coli,” says Schindler, a biomedical engineer. “Eighty-nine percent of foodborne illness outbreaks caused by restaurants are directly linked to poor handwashing practices.” She got to work on a solution, called PathSpot, that would utilize spectral imaging to detect illness-causing contaminants on a restaurant worker’s hands, all in a matter of seconds.
But there was a problem: Although Schindler knew how to build the technology, she had no idea what kind of product a restaurant would actually use.
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