Software That Helps Spot Sneaky Infections

Surveillance systems are now used in 45 percent of U.S. hospitals
Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The downside of seeking medical treatment is that it can make you sick. About 1 in 25 patients who visited a U.S. hospital in 2011 developed a hospital-acquired infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and about 75,000 died as a result. Poor hand-washing or the wrong disinfectant can spread drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA and C. difficile. Surgical wounds are vulnerable to infection. Medical devices like catheters, needles, and ventilators can lead to urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, or pneumonia.

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