Hand IQ & Fitbit: Using Nudges & Behavioral Science to Promote Healthy Behaviors

Hand IQ & Fitbit: Using Nudges & Behavioral Science to Promote Healthy Behaviors

Introduction: Hand IQ leans into Fitbit’s behavioral science-based nudge approach to drive healthy habits.

Hand IQ’s smart handwashing technology learns individual handwashing practices and promotes improvement through personal reminders, interactive messaging and real-time compliance reporting. Built on the behavioral science principles of nudge theory, Hand IQ is designed to provide subtle and effective visual and audio reminders, or nudges, that encourage employees to wash their hands after certain events, like using the bathroom, and at any frequency interval, like every 30 minutes.

Hand IQ creates team-based change toward more hygienic behaviors with the help of handwash tracking, goal setting and the friendly nudge. Like Hand IQ, leading step-counting watch company Fitbit focuses on these same behavioral science principles that motivate behavior change and hardwire healthy habits. Fitbit has also incentivized workplace participation by effectively activating fitness challenges in organizations with as many as 10,000+ employees.

Nudge theory has made Fitbit so effective in getting people to move, and Hand IQ relies on the same principle to improve handwashing

An analysis conducted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that interventions using apps or trackers, like Fitbit, seem to be effective in promoting physical activity. It is important to understand why these trackers have proven to be so useful as this is the groundwork upon which Hand IQ has been developed.

With only 31% of men and 65% of women washing their hands after using the bathroom, it is clear an intervention is needed to encourage people to prioritize the long-term benefits of hand hygiene over the short-term reward of time saved from not washing hands. Choosing short-term rewards over sustained progress is the principle of hyperbolic discounting. Unfortunately, individuals of all ages practice hyperbolic discounting way too often when it comes to handwashing. This is where the Fitbit-like Hand IQ “nudge” comes into play.

Just like Fitbit, Hand IQ relies on the principles of nudge theory, which validate that positive reinforcement and suggestive prompts have the ability to spur healthy behavior. Through gentle sounds and illuminations, Hand IQ reminds employees to routinely wash hands. More details about how Hand IQ’s smart technology works can be seen here.

Fitbit illustrates the power of using smart devices to drive employee buy-in to health and wellness programs

After discovering that its more than 11,000 employees were struggling from being too sedentary, Emory University partnered with Fitbit to create a “Move More Challenge.” The results are extremely impressive and reveal the power that a device-led challenge can have to change employee behavior in the workplace:92% of Emory University employees said that Fitbit motivated them to be more active and 97% said they would participate in another program in the future. 

Following suit, global company Cisco created the CiscoACTIVE challenge for its 1,300 employees across 10 locations in Australia and New Zealand. As a result, 86% of employees reported being more active after receiving their Fitbit device.

Hand IQ is designed to lead similar challenges, albeit focused on handwashing. Hand IQ can create healthy competition in the workplace through handwashing leaderboards, handwash employee of the month challenges, and so on. Fitbit challenges reveal that there is a clear correlation between smart devices and incentivization among employees to engage in smart and healthy behaviors.

Conclusion: Hand IQ works and it’s because of behavioral science

Hand IQ was designed with one principle in mind: effectiveness. At its core, Hand IQ is all about promoting behavior change. A rigorous understanding of behavioral science, in particular nudge theory, played a big role in the design and implementation of Hand IQ. Enough of the idle signs reminding you to wash hands. Welcome to active reminders that actually work.

Related articles:

It’s important you are washing your hands the right way at the right time. Follow CDC’s guidelines. 

A Practical Tool with a Powerful Message – Hand IQ as a Timely Marketing Opportunity

As a Result of COVID-19, Consumers are Demanding Cleanliness at Restaurants

Customers are Searching for New Restaurants due to COVID-19 Closures. Win Them with Your Commitment to Hygiene

Back to blog