ShockBIT is (2) small disposable electronic devices that attaches to a users wrists and will monitor hand motion and when the hand position is close to face (Above the shoulders) will emit a small, harmless electrical pulses (no more than 1 Second) to that wrist or Vibrational Stimulus. This electrical pulse or small vibration is intended to silently alert user that their hands are in close proximity to the face. ShockBIT is design for easy to use user experience to lightly remind users to refrain from unnecessarily touching their mouth, nose, and eyes.
What is ShockBIT:
ShockBIT consists of a Silicone band with a pocket that houses the electronic components. The Electronics are a simple Microcontroller, Coin cell Battery, Button, low power Accelerometer do detect an inversion of the board, and a Boost controller with Copper Electrodes or Vibrational Motor to make contact with the users skin.
Our device will slow the rate of infection by providing awareness for citizens outside of their homes to not touch their face. A February WHO report predicted that 85% of the cases in China may have been undocumented, and it spreads outside of clinical environments through surfaces and personal interactions. Even regular disinfection can leave almost 15% of infectious agents on surfaces; so people are advised to wash their hands and not touch their face. Even for trained personnel, people touch their face at least 12-20 times an hour involuntarily.
This has resulted in infection rates (Ro) between about 2.4 - 4, meaning one infected person will transmit it to about 3 others. As of April 21, 2020, U.S. cases were at ~800k out of 328.2 M people ( 1/400 ); if the virus spread to 2.75 new people for every infected person, the country will be facing percentages of its population on par with New York in a week (3.75/400). Social distancing has proven effective to slow the rate of infection, but this gives us a slim time window to prepare. Even with social distancing, the virus has been found in more the 75% of the counties in the US, many cases appearing within the last 2-3 weeks. Almost 20% of the US counties report cases more than 100.
Manufacture/distribution of PPE and ventilators still may be insufficient to respond within our timeline, and these solutions only focus on the end of the infection life- cycle. If a person can avoid involuntarily touching their face when in at-risk environments (shopping, doctor, gas), the Ro value would decrease when coupled with social distancing and regular hand washing. Ro values in the 1.5-2 range will significantly delay the spread of covid-19, providing weeks to months of additional prep time. The additional time also gives hospitalized patients time to recover and free bed-space and resources.
More than 95% of the US population remains uninfected at this time. If the death rate stays low at 80/million, this will result in almost 25,000 deaths, but that rate is skewed by places in the US that have yet to be hit hard. The NYC death rate is 552/million meaning 180k people would die in the US if we get overwhelmed and experience a NYC everywhere. When/if travel and business restrictions are lifted, it will become increasingly more important to maintain proper hygiene practices to prevent the rapid spread in areas not yet hit. Providing help to essential workers can help protect them as well. Slowing down Ro is our best chance at achieving this goal and our device is the only current design ready for immediate mass production to meet covid-19 on the front lines as people encounter it in their daily lives.