Nudging explained

What is nudging and how can you use it to improve hand hygiene. How can Sani nudge nudge?


The Reward function is limited by the PIR sensors' ability to see its surroundings. If the PIR sensor is blocked it will not be able to see a person and hence it will not make the Trigger animation. An example is if the sensor is placed at a pump holder, which is placed on a table. Then the PIR sensor is looking directly into the table and will not detect anyone close to the sensor. 

You can see how to activate nudging here

Nudging is a behavioral Science term that refers to the use of positive interventions to motivate people to perform in a specific way. The Sani sensors can nudge when healthcare workers might be in a situation where they should sanitize and nudge when they have sanitized. This is called for Cue and reward and is a basic part of the Nudging Principles from Behavioral science. 

  • Cues are stimuli in the environment that lead to developing a routine that is the basis for a habit. Once the desired routine is performed, a reward should be given (Cues, routines, and rewards go hand in hand in creating a habit.) Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit describes the research on the power of habits and the role that cues perform in creating them.

  • Triggers are “stimuli that prompt people to think about related things.”[1] They are, quite simply, reminders to engage in a specific behavior. They are the foundation for word-of-mouth, which is the most impactful form of advertising/promotion for a fatherhood workshop or program. They help generate more word-of-mouth. Using research, Jonah Berger in Contagious describes the role that triggers play in keeping desired behavior top of mind (e.g. attending a fatherhood program) and in generating word-of-mouth (e.g. advertising a fatherhood program).

  • Nudges are small changes in the world around us (environment) that influence us to make better decisions. More specifically: “Nudges are ways of influencing choice without limiting the choice set or making alternatives appreciably more costly in terms of time, trouble, social sanctions, and so forth. They are called for because of flaws in individual decision-making, and they work by making use of those flaws.”[1] A nudge is not an economic incentive in which choice is eliminated (e.g. a father who owes child support will go to jail if he doesn’t attend a fatherhood program—a hammer, not a nudge), a motivator that has been used widely by fatherhood programs. Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein in Nudge describe the research on how nudges improve decision-making. 

# 1 TRIGGER: People interact with what is visible in the local environment - and we often have to remember our good intentions.

# 2 REWARD: People need rewards for their behavior, and an obvious version of that can often be feedback - you did well here!


This is the first prototype of the Sani Sensor's nudging mode



The concept explained:

Nudging explained

How Cue and Reward works now.

How it works

The trigger

The trigger is an animation that happens as a person is close to the sensor on a dispenser. This can be as they walk past the dispenser while entering a patient room or in the hallway or stand at the dispenser in the medication room or toilet. The purpose of the trigger is to bring the person's attention to the dispenser, which will prompt the person to consider if they should use it or not. It is important to understand that the trigger is not an alarm. It is an "attention getter" that reminds the person to think about hand hygiene and make an active judgement if the person think they should perform hand hygiene or not. This will make them try to remember the guidelines and this brain exercise will print a behavior to make this consideration every time they see the dispenser. 

You do not have to wear a Sani ID to activate a Trigger. Every movement of persons larger than 40 kg will activate it. The sensor only records the usage, if you are wearing a Sani ID. 

Nudging explained_2

The Reward

The Reward is an animation that happens when a person uses the dispenser. The purpose of the Reward is to activate a pleasant association with performing hand hygiene. "You did good" is the feeling the person should feel when receiving the reward. The reward is given every time the dispenser is used and not only when it was used correctly or in a compliant situation. The reason behind this is that there needs to be a consistent positive association with performing hand hygiene. If you only get the reward when you perform hand hygiene correctly, but you do not know how to perform it correctly, you will start to doubt yourself and eventually avoid the feeling it gives you when you perform hand hygiene and are not given a Reward. The brain is not clever enough to understand the association and will eventually fully avoid the feeling instead of trying to solve the equation. 

You do not have to wear a Sani ID to activate a Reward. Every time the dispenser is used the sensor will make the Reward animation. The sensor only records the usage, if you are wearing a Sani ID.

Nudging explained_3