A bracelet that vibrates each time you touch
your face could help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Photos shows how people can bring the virus
Designed by engineers in Seattle in the U.S.,
the wristband buzzes gently when you go to scratch your nose, rub your eyes or
wipe your lips.
It is hoped this will not only stop you in
your tracks but, over time, will train you to touch your face less. Roughly the
size of a watch, the new Immutouch band contains a sensor that monitors the
position of the hand ten times per second.
As the coronavirus is able to get into the
body through the mucous membranes in the eyes, mouth and nose, public health
advice stresses the importance of not touching our faces.
The World Health Organisation says: 'Avoid
touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up
viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or
mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and make you sick.'
Two small studies of similar technology by the
University of Michigan in the U.S. have shown the value of such gadgets in
preventing another bad habit: trichotillomania, or compulsive hair-pulling.
Wearing vibrating bracelets on each hand cut the number of hair pulls and
attempted pulls by 90 per cent in one of the studies, and contributed to
'significant improvements in symptoms' in the other.
The manufacturer of the Immutouch is now
conducting a study at the Autonomous University of Madrid in Spain. Ten
volunteers will be monitored as they wear the bracelet to determine just how
much it stops them from touching their faces.