Coronavirus: Does this smart bracelet prevent infections?
In the heat of expansion of the Coronavirus, some daily gestures like touching the nose, the mouth or another part of the face can be dangerous. Although it is a natural (and often involuntary) gesture that under normal conditions would not pose a great risk, in current circumstances and with more and more cases of coronavirus in Spain, contact of the hands with the mucosa is one of the the most common forms of contagion.
Touching the face is a natural and involuntary gesture. Under normal conditions, it would not be a troubling or dangerous hobby. However, as Coronavirus is spreading worldwide, it is an action that doctors advise against and ask to avoid because it can cause infections.
Many people have a habit of repeatedly touching their faces. On the other hand, others do it only to scratch or when they feel some kind of itching in the nose or eyes. Regardless of whether it is a tic or a voluntary action, the Immutouch bracelet is specially designed to stop us before we touch our faces, thus reducing the chances of getting the Coronavirus.
It is an impediment that this wearable achieves thanks to the accelerometer with which it is equipped. The internal sensor registers movement ten times per second and in this way the bracelet is able to vibrate when the user approaches the hand to the eyes, nose or mouth. For this, it is only necessary to carry out a basic calibration using your own application on a smartphone.
The logic behind this invention is the same as that of classical conditioning in Pavlov’s dog experiment: the vibration seeks to dissuade people from touching their faces so that people avoid scratching.
“A problem of the magnitude of COVID-19 requires that everyone do something,” says Matthew Toles, co-founder of the Slightly Robot company that makes these bracelets.
Each smart bracelet is priced at 43 euros and can be purchased through the company’s website. Its founders claim not to be making money with the coronavirus crisis with their sales since the units are sold almost at a balance price.
The use of smart bracelets is not something new in the field of healthcare. For example, there are studies showing that using these smart devices helps patients suffering from trichotillomania not to pull the hair off their heads.