Nordic Semiconductor today announces that U.S. startup, WashSense, has developed a retrofittable Bluetooth mesh smart hand-washing monitor of the same name that can both monitor and educate users how to wash their hands correctly. The entire application runs off a single Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 System-on-Chip (SoC).
Designed to be installed above existing wall-mounted soap dispensers, the battery-powered WashSense includes an e-paper screen that activates once a user pushes the soap dispenser. Using thermal sensors, it is then able to monitor how well an individual is washing their hands while displaying customizable notifications and trivia messaging on the screen plus gamified instructions on how to wash their hands correctly, including giving a score out of 100.
WashSense says the use of such a device dramatically increases how many individuals will properly wash their hands and may help re-build confidence in all kinds of organizations as they re-open their doors after Covid-19 ‘shelter in place’ restrictions are eased or removed.
“‘How do we re-open and get people to come back and feel safe after Covid-19?’ is the question I keep hearing from customers right now,” says CEO & Co-Founder of WashSense, Connor Dahlberg. “And a big part of that until a vaccine for Covid-19 is developed will be building confidence that everyone is now washing their hands properly to minimize the risk of any new outbreaks. This is what our WashSense monitor is designed to ensure.”
To ease installation, WashSense is designed to be ‘stuck’ to walls instead of screwed into them, and is flexible enough to accommodate all buildings types from old to new. A Bluetooth mesh network is created between each Nordic nRF52832-based WashSense for wireless remote monitoring, over-the-air firmware updates, and uploading of the compressed imagery files to be shown on the display of each WashSense when in operation.
“One customer rewards any user who scores above 80 while washing their hands to be entered into a daily prize draw,” adds Dahlberg. “And this can be done completely anonymously or you can use a small tag that carries a unique ID that can be assigned specifically or generically so it isn’t traceable to the individual. This all helps to avoid the monitor being seen as overbearing and overly intrusive in people’s everyday lives. Instead it just becomes an innocuous behavior prompt that nudges people towards washing their hands thoroughly while at work.”
WashSense is itself just one part of a larger Arsana Health platform that WashSense has developed to enable technology-driven intervention, prevention, and tracking of infectious disease through accurate hygiene and symptom-onset monitoring.