"I realize that I am addicted," the university student admitted,
saying she checks her phone continuously from the time she wakes up,
even when she is in classes.
"At night, when I can't sleep, I can use my phone for up to five
A group of fellow students at the University of Indonesia, led by
inventor Irfan Budi Satria, has spent three months developing a
wearable device that can help internet users like Sisianindita cut
down on the time they spend flicking at their phones.
Called "Nettox", from "internet detox", the device is worn on the
wrist and contains a pulse oximeter sensor that measures hemoglobin
oxygen levels and heart rate variability (HRV).
Studies have found that prolonged mobile phone usage has a specific
lowering effect on HRV levels. The Nettox device emits a sound when
HRV and blood oxygen levels fall within this range, which reminds
the wearer to stop using their phone.
For people aged between 18 and 25, the HRV should ideally stay above
60, according to the American Psychological Association, Satria
At a recent trial, Sisianindita's HRV reading was 44.
Internet addiction is a growing social issue in Indonesia. In
October, two teenagers were treated for their addiction to internet
gaming, media reported.
[to top of second column]
"Children must be taught to be more active and take part in
extracurricular activities," said psychologist Kasandra Putranto.
Satria's team is working on personalizing Nettox and improving its
accuracy as HRV readings can vary depending on a person's body
shape, gender and health conditions.
They aim to apply for a patent for their invention with the
university by next year.
Satria says, though, that Nettox is targeted at those already
invested in changing their behavior.
"Our goal is to help the health-conscious," he said. "To help people
who want to free themselves from internet addiction."
(Reporting by Sekar Nasly Bani Putri and Angie Teo; Writing by
Karishma Singh; Editing by Robert Birsel)
[© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2019 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.