Proper hygiene habits are essential for the short and long-term health benefits they provide. They are also key independent living skills for full integration within modern society. A variety of books have been written on the subject, but these provide little to help prompt, remind, and instruct on a daily basis. Mobile technologies provide the opportunity to support just-in-time instruction and reminding as well as provide more interactive and motivating content than simple paper-based tools currently in use. However, the commercial tools available are nearly all aimed at young children.

The Hygiene Helper System

Built on Android mobile devices, Hygiene Helper provides audio, video, and text-based tools to support learning and practicing healthy hygiene habits.

The educational modules provide information about a variety of hygiene related topics using text, images, and videos. Each module also includes a helpful hints or FAQ section to remind about important details once the main lesson has been completed. Finally, each module includes quizzes to test students on the most important items from each section. These quizzes can be configured by teachers or families or even the students themselves. Student progress on the learning objectives and quiz scores are all logged and accessible by the students and caregivers.

Just-In-Time Feedback

Hygiene Helper can be configured to support alerting about specific hygiene tasks at appropriate times (e.g., a reminder each morning to brush teeth and put on clean clothes). Additionally, timers enable support for ensuring that an activity takes an appropriate amount of time (e.g., brushing teeth for at least two minutes or showering for no more than fifteen minutes). Audio alarms and text-to-speech messaging allow for additional support, particularly during activities that make holding or viewing the phone difficult.

This work is in collaboration with Tiwahe Technology.

You can download a prototype of HygieneHelper for free at the Google Play Store.

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