Even before COVID-19 made handwashing a “thing,” it was on the mind of Notre Dame Preparatory School (NDP) Senior Megan Santamore.
In 2018, after learning a neighbor who works in health care acquired a hospital-based infection because of inadequate handwashing, Santamore began building a device that tracked handwashing procedures. In May 2020, she patented her invention, named SmartTrack. Using Radio Frequency Identification (RDIF), the device is intended to be placed at handwashing stations and tracks the hand-washing process for a recommended 30 seconds.
She presented SmartTrack at the Baltimore Science Fair in 2019, where it caught the attention of one of the judges, who mentored her and helped her streamline the device. She hopes to continue refining SmartTrack in college, as well as work on other medical devices.
Santamore has always been interested in programming and technology. She started the US Biolympiad club at NDP, has been the President of the Robotics Club for the past three years, and is the current President of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society. As a volunteer at the Maryland Science Center, Santamore assists volunteer teachers with workshops and helps run activities for patrons on the museum floor.
On May 26, Santamore graduates from NDP and is headed to Princeton University in the fall, where she plans to earn an engineering degree and attend medical school to use current devices – and those she creates in the future – in poor and third world countries where public health care is under-prioritized and under-resourced.