Scientists in UK, Spain and America to test ‘vibrating bracelet’ to combat the spread of Covid-19

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DETERRENT: The immotouch bracelet vibrates when you touch your face. CREDIT: UAM_Madrid

Scientists in the UK, Spain and America are taking part in an international project testing the effectiveness of a bracelet that vibrates when you put your hands, to your face to combat the spread of Covid-19.

INCLUDING a Spanish team led by a researcher from the Department of Biological and Health Psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), Javier Virués, the experts are collaborating on an international study of the ‘Immotouch’ bracelet, developed by the Slightly Robot startup (Seattle, USA), which vibrates when hands are held to the face.

The hope is that the ‘SafeHands’ project will find the bracelet could help in the fight against the spread of the virus, recognising the fact that not touching the face is harder than it sounds.

‘Immotouch’ reportedly works as ‘a vibro-tactile alarm’ that monitors facial contact behaviour and alerts the wearer of their movements.

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All of the teams will receive the bracelet by mail, carry out their own tests and experiments and share their findings.

Virués said “the mere presence of the bracelet will have a deterrent effect on the behaviour of touching the face once the person has been exposed to the vibration several times.”

He believes, if effective, its use would be limited to “high-risk environments, such as visits to supermarkets or health centers,” and that to be completely effective, the bracelet would have to be worn on both wrists.


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