Shj police-1625306735315
Sharjah Police officials at the announcement of the project. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Sharjah Police has launched a wearable device that can address the physical and psychological, complications behind drug abuse in an attempt to help drug victims overcome their addiction.

The smartwatch apps are supported by governmental and medical programmes. The smartwatches have GPS systems inside them, allowing police and specialists to track the location of the devices and their wearers.

A smartwatch can screen for conditions and changes in its wearer’s health. It can record decreased physical activity and accompanying diagnostic signals. It can also automatically trigger a call for emergency assistance if the device detects the telltale signs of an overdose. Although this is an extreme form of intervention, it is possible with a smartwatch if a person is willing to wear it.

The smartwatch is the first of its kind in the world concerned with following up on narcotics. The project is one of the smart innovative projects for Sharjah Police employees that obtained intellectual property rights with Ministry of Economy.

Project details

Lt. Col. Amer Al Harmoudi, director of the Special Rehabilitation Center for Sharjah Police, said that the cost of the smartwatch ranges from Dh80,000 to Dh90,000, and the project consists of a smartwatch, a smart application and electronic systems linked to each other, and their users are followed up by the competent authorities in Sharjah Police. Providing the smartwatch to those willing to treat addiction free of charge and optional, provided that the addict adheres to the conditions of treatment and rehabilitation from addiction.

Lt. Col. Al Harmoudi explained that the goal of the smartwatch is for the addiction patient to be among his family and not in the prison or rehabilitation centre, so that he goes about his life normally within a specific geographical area. The presence of the drug addiction treatment between his family and under supervision and follow-up by social and psychological specialists in Sharjah Police. It gives better results in treatment and quickly integrates them into society.

Sharjah Police

Lt. Col. Al Harmoudi said that the task of the smartwatch is to follow up on drug users after completing the treatment period in the rehabilitation centre, by monitoring and measuring vital signs, which are the person’s heart rate, blood pressure, sleep rate, stress rate and other vital signs that monitor the signs of addiction. The smartwatch targets both juvenile and female addicts and those applying for treatment on their own and placed in the rehabilitation centre of the Public Prosecution order.

He pointed out that any person who surrenders himself to the police or one of his relatives voluntarily surrenders him for treatment of addiction is exempt from criminal punishment according to the law, and he will be subjected to the treatment programme through the smartwatch and the follow-up of specialists in the Sharjah Police.

Strategic goals

The device is the brainchild of Lieutenant pharmacist Sarah Al-Zarouni. She told Gulf News that the smartwatch project for rehabilitation achieves the strategic goal of the state in innovation and enhances the quality of life. It is the innovation of the smartwatch that came to follow up on health and psychological cases of users, and develop a solution to the challenge of rehabilitation in the follow-up of cases after their release and the end of the treatment period. It aims to reduce treatment costs by creating smart solutions for the rehabilitation and treatment of drug abusers.

She added that the device includes smart features and icons represented in the personal information icon, vital signs, and the camera icon, so that a person can take a personal picture, if requested by the centre, in addition to the permanent operating mode feature, continuous data synchronisation, and the notifications feature. In case the users remove the smartwatch, the specialist will make video call with him/her to find out the issue.

Lt. Al-Zarouni said: “The design of the smartwatch is compatible with men and women. The Special Rehabilitation Centre works from the follow-up room round the clock to monitor on the health of the patients and their vital signs, to prevent them from relapse and return to addiction, in addition to providing psychological sessions for the recovering from a distance. It enables him to communicate with psychiatrists at any time to request advice or assistance.”

She stated that more than 50 smartwatches for rehabilitation have been produced so far, and in the first phase they will be tested on healthy people, some users who want treatment, and some volunteers to monitor results and observations, before they are officially approved and applied to drug victims and those who want treatment for addiction.