Researchers have developed an Internet of things (IoT) device for soap dispensers which they say can ensure that people wash their hands properly for over 20 seconds as per the World Health Organization guidelines for COVID-19.
The device called ’20Sec4Life’ will glow, beep and play a musical tone for more than 20 seconds to help people disinfect their hands properly, according to the researchers from Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Punjab.
The splash-proof device can be mounted on any liquid soap dispenser and operates using a battery, they said.
According to WHO, promoting good hand hygiene is one of the most basic yet powerful tools that countries must leverage to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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The new device can help combat the growing number of cases of COVID 19, which in many cases spread due to negligence in observing the 20 seconds hand wash rule, the researchers said.
“COVID 19 is spreading rapidly and one of the reasons for this is improper hygiene habits. For most people, it is difficult to keep a track of time while washing hands,” Prabin Kumar Das, a B. Tech student of Electronics Communication and Engineering at LPU, told PTI.
Das and his team developed the device prototypes with four variants, including an advanced model that offers step by step hand-washing instructions in vernacular languages to ensure proper cleaning.
The base device is triggered and starts playing music for over 20 seconds when the nozzle of the handwash is pressed to dispense soap.
The advanced version of the IoT device can be connected via Wi-Fi network and can be paired and operated through a mobile app.
The Internet of things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
The expected selling price of the base model post commercialisation is expected to be Rs. 70 per unit, the researchers said.
“We all are in a hurry and do not realise that we have failed to completely disinfect ourselves by not washing our hands for the prescribed duration of 20 seconds,” Das, who developed the device with his colleagues at LPU, said.
“Therefore, we have come up with a simple solution in the form of 20Sec4Life which will enable people to abide by the prescribed timelines for washing hands,” he added.