Japan’s Fujitsu Developed An AI-Based Hand Washing Monitor To Fight COVID-19

Fujitsu Ltd, a Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company has developed an AI-based monitor to ensure the healthcare, hotel, and food industry workers scrub properly. The monitor comes three months after the WHO recommended singing “Happy Birthday” twice during washing hands to fight against the coronavirus.

According to Fujitsu, the AI-based monitor can not only recognize the complex hand movements but also detect if people are using soap or not. The monitor was under development even before the coronavirus outbreak for implementing stricter hygiene regulations by Japanese companies. Also, AI-based uses crime surveillance technology to detect suspicious body movements.

Genta Suzuki, a senior researcher at the Japanese IT company said “Food industry officials and those involved in a coronavirus-related business who have seen it are eager to use it, and we have had people inquiring about price.” He added, Fujitsu is yet to decide formally if they want to market AI technology.

Despite the economic fallout hurting companies due to the coronavirus pandemic ranging from restaurants to carmakers, firms are trying to use existing technology to tap into an emerging market for coronavirus-related products.

 AI of the Tokyo based company checks if people are completing a six-step hand washing procedure by the Japanese health ministry. It refers to the guidelines issued by the WHO to ask people to clean their palms, between fingers, wash their thumbs, around the wrists, and scrub their fingernails.

Suzuki said that the AI monitor still can’t identify people from their hands. However, it can be coupled with identity recognition technology for companies to track employees’ washing habits.

Suzuki and other developers successfully created nearly 2,000 handwashing patterns using different soaps and washbasins to train the machine learning AI. The company’s employees also took part in those trials. They also paid people in Japan and overseas to wash their hands to help develop the AI.

It can now be programmed to play Happy Birthday or other music to accompany hand washing. But, Suzuki said, that it will be up to the customer.