A Martin County sixth-grade student has invented an item that can track whether or not people wash their hands, specifically after using the bathroom.
Varun Singh, who attends Anderson Middle School, says he was searching for ways to make people wash their hands even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was by chance COVID-19 came up and that made this project super important,” he adds.
He entered into the Martin County School District’s science fair with a bracelet that tracks hand washing habits.
“My mom was very helpful in helping me come up with that,” Singh explains.
The student’s mother works in the medical field. He learned from her that not washing one’s hands can pose serious risks.
“It struck an idea in my head that if we somehow came up with a way to track our hand washing then maybe this would fix the problem,” Singh states.
The bracelet he designed uses RFID technology or Radio Frequency Identification. “It’s often used in credit cards when you use an ATM, or maybe a pass when you scan it on the bus,” according to Singh.
Help prevent the spread of #COVID19. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, and practice social distancing by putting space between yourself and others. https://t.co/0D99fLmeyc pic.twitter.com/O8gY8EGcss
— CDC (@CDCgov) March 29, 2020
He places a scanner near a toilet’s flush handle and another one near a bathroom’s soap dispenser.
The bracelet automatically scans when someone flushes, and then it scans again when someone washes their hands and records the information into a database. If they do not wash their hands after flushing, that information is also documented in a database.
“With COVID-19 being the biggest pandemic the world has seen in decades, it was really important that we had to design a way for us to track our hand washing because that’s one of the main reasons that this pandemic is spreading across the world,” Singh says.
He hopes his invention makes a difference in public health.