E-detect is a reactive strip object that could be placed in a bracelet device. It can detect high levels of Escherichia coli O157:H7/NM (e- coli).

What is it?

E-detect is a reactive strip object that could be placed in a bracelet device. It can detect high levels of Escherichia coli O157:H7/NM (e- coli) This bacteria ir frequent where sanitation is poor.
The detection of this bacteria is important in different stage of food processing as it can prevents the possibility of high levels of hemolytic uremic syndrome that mainly affects young children. This síndrome develop severe consequences from chronic kidney failure to death. Also is important to take acount the economic cost to society where these cases are inserted, laboral parents absenteeism , and hospitalization costs that are often covered by public health.
If this bacterium could be detected in an early stage, many lives could be saved and much of the money invested in health could be used for prevention.
The technology used for this bracelet exists today,but is slow, expensive and only biochemistries could use it. Glowing reactives are used for detection. The same reactives used by laboratories, could detect bacteria in less time with less cost if we produce it a big scale. Reactive strip is enough to know if we are going to eat safe.

How is it used?

It is used on the body. Is basically a wrist band that use human heat to reach reactive reaction of strips. The temperature for detect e-coli bacteria is 37 C.In places with low access to technology and resources, is necessary to provide simple access to data. In rural farm, reactive wrist could be made of nonwoven fabric that could be burned after use.
For urban environments, sanitary authorities could use a long term detection device connected with an mobile app to place in a map positive cases.

What technologies does it incorporate?

This design incorporate chemical tools for early detection. Also, incorporate simply resources like human heat to create chemical reaction.
Where resources allow, internet could be used for data transmission generating a map for positive cases. This map is a diagnostic for health authorities. This map is feed with data provided with an app in real time. Maps could be done with free resources like Carto db.

How does it work?

In so many countries, sanitaries authorities makes routinary inspection to food and beverages shops. In some cases, e-coli is the first reason for shops closure. Shop´s owners could detect bacteria before authorities and could act to change this situation, avoiding closure costs.
Sanitary authorities could control more often hygiene qualities in shops where raw meat and raw vegetables are sold. In cities control could be easier than country. With less resources, farm people often eat what they cultivate and the cattle they rise. With less access to safe water and disinfection products, many times they are exposed to critical food without knowing. Sanitize water, food and spaces allow a better life quality. But all this procedure culn´t be made in real time. Always is necesary a laboratory tests to make ressults visibles after 24 48 hours. This time is too much when we are talking about health in danger. When you have hungry one day to know if food is safe enough to eat is a real big time.
Health population improves with quick tests, because e-coli is not only a low income population problem. We are talking about something invisible. Only when we can see, we can fight it. Childhood is principal impaired now. Street food, poor sanitation conditions, malpractices in handling raw food allow the disease.

Who uses it?

This wrist band could be used for adult population. It is allowing to know in real time if food is contaminated. This preventive action save lives and money, because children are principal victims in this cases.
In farm, is very common to manipulate raw meat and vegetables contaminated, and not know it. Many people eat and become ill. If we can show them what is safe or not for eating, people could learn more about hygiene and preventive actions.
In cities, often street food is contaminated and we think it is safe. Sanitary authorities could scan street food places and define if eating there is healthy. Children are who really likes street food and the firsts damaged with e-coli bacteria .

Why does it help?

You can’t fight with an invisible enemy. In health we are always fighting with things that we can´t see. Making this visible allow us to avoid it.
Reactive strip are a very common tool for detection in medicine. The population accept them because are simple to use, sometimes not so expensive, secure in showing results and inoffensive for human. We can use low cost resources like human heat to detect bacteria through a simple chemical device.
If we allow people to see invisible bacterias, they could take actions to be healthier avoiding risk food.


Team's Location


Team's Occupation


Team Members

experimental design

Focus Area(s)

Alert/Response, Data Collection/Data Insight

UNICEF Pillar(s)

Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

These pages have been pulled directly from applications submitted to the Wearables for Good Challenge in 2015. They represent the work of the individual teams and have subsequently not been edited.


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