Fairbanks professor invents wristband to help reduce spread of disease

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 4:20 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) professor has invented a wristband to help reduce the spread of disease.

According to Rob Prince, Professor of Communications and Journalism with UAF, the Scratch Band is a wristband made of medical grade silicone designed to help reduce the spread of disease by helping individuals avoid scratching their faces.

The wristband allows one to scratch their face without the use of their hands, which could help prevent surface-borne germs and diseases from being spread by touch. Prince explained, “Our hands are basically, like, trying to kill us all the time because anytime we go around and pick stuff up, it gets in our fingers, and then we scratch our face. That’s why everyone is telling you ‘You need to wash your hands’ all the time, because you’re trying to kill these germs, get them off.”

Prince got the idea for the band during the outbreak of COVID-19. “I invented this because I was trying to stop touching my face, and it was really hard to do because the urge to scratch your face is really strong and you also just don’t think about it. So the idea is with this band, you scratch your face with your wrist instead of your fingers - and because this isn’t touching grocery carts and handles, and when you shake people’s hands, it stays clean. It’s a safer way to scratch your face so you decrease your exposure to germs and disease and that kind of thing.”

According to Prince, the band helps prevent someone from spreading surface-borne disease just as well as it prevents them from catching it.

“The other thing that’s nice about it is, it also stops you from spreading something you might have around the world. So you might have got even just a cold, a runny nose, and you’re rubbing it and touching stuff - then you’re spreading that out to the rest of the world where other people can get sick. So the idea with the band is that it basically isolates yourself from the world and the world from you,” said Prince.

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