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Title:
A DEVICE FOR INSTRUCTING ORAL HYGIENE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/229139
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is an oral hygiene instruction device (100) for a user. The device comprises a mirror (101), a camera (206), a frame (102), a processing unit, and a touchscreen display (103). The mirror has a reflective part and a semi-reflective part (104). The touchscreen display (103) is behind the semi-reflective part (104). The processing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display (103), and the activated area of the touchscreen display (103) is configured to provide instructions to the user when the device is in use. The processing unit follows the motions of the user and gives further instructions based on the recognized motions. The instructions comprise at least an animation based on images of the user as captured by the camera (206), and the processing unit is configured to detect the position of a toothbrush that the user is using in front of the device, and to render a correspondingly positioned animated toothbrush as part of the animation.

Inventors:
MALINEN, Mika (FI)
MALINEN, Eeva (FI)
MALINEN, Jouko (FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI2021/000005
Publication Date:
November 18, 2021
Filing Date:
May 10, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DENTVIEW OY (FI)
International Classes:
G09B19/00; A46B15/00; A61C17/22; A47G1/02; G06F3/0488; G06T7/70; G06T13/40
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OIKARINEN, Antti (FI)
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Claims:
Patent claims

1. A device (100; 200) for instructing a user how to maintain oral hygiene, the device comprising a mirror (101 ; 201), a camera (206) and a frame (102; 202), and the mirror is fixed to the frame, and the camera is configured to detect when the user in front of the mirror (101 ; 201) and to capture images of the user, and the device further comprises a processing unit and a touchscreen display (103; 203), and the mirror comprises a reflective part and a semi-reflective part (104; 204) and the touchscreen display is at least partly behind the semi-reflective part, and the prosessing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display, and the activated area (205) of the touchscreen display is configured to provide instructions to the userwhen the device is in use, characterised in that the instructions comprise at least an animation based on images of the user as captured by the camera (206), and the prosessing unit is configured to detect the position of a toothbrush that the user is using in front of the device and to render a correspondingly positioned animated toothbrush as part of the animation.

2. The device (100; 200) according to claim 1 , characterised in that the semi- reflective part of the mirror (101 ; 201 ) is configured to reflect an image of the user when the touchscreen display (103; 203) or some area of the touchscreen display is inactive.

3. The device (100; 200) according to claim 1 or 2, characterised in that the processing unit and the touchscreen display (103; 203) are configured in a such way that at the start of the instructions the user is asked to tap the touchscreen display at the height the user feels comfortable to watch and the activated area (205) is activated at the proximity of the tap point.

4. The device (100; 200) according to claim 3, characterised in that the prosessing unit is configured to approximate the size of the user based on an image of the user as captured by the camera (206), and the prosessing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display (103; 203), and at least part of the activated area (205) of the touchscreen display is at the same level as the face of the user. 5. The device (100; 200) according to claim 4, characterised in that the animation includes at least a head and a mouth, and the animated head is positioned in such a way that it corresponds to the position of the reflection of the user’s head in the mirror (101 ; 201).

6. The device (100; 200) according to any of claims 1 to 5, characterised in that the animation is configured to instruct the user how to brush his or her teeth, and the animation includes the position where the user’s toothbrush should be, and the device is configured to give feedback to the user in how to hold the toothbrush in a desired manner.

7. The device (100; 200) according to any of claims 1 to 6, characterised in that the prosessing unit is configured to detect the position of a toothbrush that the user is using in front of the device and to render a correspondingly positioned animated toothbrush as part of the animation.

8. The device (100; 200) according to any of claims 1 to 7, characterised in that the processing unit is configured to store the user’s responses to the instructions.

9. The device (100; 200) according to claim 8, characterised in that the device further comprises a dispenser, and the dispenser is configured to contain dental hygiene products, and based on the stored responses, the dispenser is configured to provide at least one dental hygiene product to the user.

10. The device (100; 200) according to claim 8 or 9, characterised in that the processing unit comprises means for connecting to an external device, and the external device is a mobile device carried by the user, and based on the stored responses, the processing unit is configured to send further instructions to the external device.

11. The device (100; 200) according to any of claims 1 to 10, characterised in that the device further comprises a microphone (207). 12. The device (100; 200) according to claims 11 , characterised in that the device is configured to instruct the user how to brush his or her teeth, and when the user is brushing his or her teeth, the device is configured to record at least some of the tooth brushing sounds with the microphone (207), and at least some of the recorded tooth brushing sounds are used for evaluating the user’s tooth brushing technique.

13. The device (100; 200) according to any of claims 1 to 13, characterised in that the device further comprises a toothbrush, and the toothbrush or the device or both comprise one or more sensors for detecting movements of the toothbrush, and the processing unit is configured to use the movement data for generating instructions.

Description:
A device for instructing oral hygiene

The invention relates to a device for instructing a user how to maintain oral hygiene, the device comprising a mirror and a frame, and the mirror is fixed to the frame.

BACKGROUND

Oral diseases pose a major health burden for many countries and affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death. Treatment for oral health conditions is expensive and usually not part of universal health coverage (UHC). In most high-income countries, dental treatment averages 5% of total health expenditure and 20% of out-of-pocket health expenditure. The majority of oral health diseases such as dental caries and periodontitis are largely preventable and can be treated in their early stages. Reducing oral health conditions calls for a reform of oral health systems to shift the focus from invasive dental treatment to prevention and more minor treatment. It has been found that personal instructions significally improve this. The burden of oral diseases can be reduced through instructions by addressing common risk factors. Oral self-care guidance is part of preventive work and includes patient motivation, teaching a healthy diet and lifestyle, analyzing one's own risks, and directing home care such as tooth brushing.

It is a well-known fact that many people have improper habits when performing oral hygiene. This includes, for example, tooth brushing. Oral self-care guidance is given in the dental clinics, but there are not enough resources for adequate preventive work. Preventive work can often also be targeted at specific groups of patients. In order to effectively prevent oral diseases, preventive work should be increased and targeted to all patient groups. However, this is quite time-consuming and people may not respond to the instructions. In order to transfer knowledge more effectively, it would be good to use self-learning as a form of teaching.

Interactive mirrors are known for projecting images onto the mirror surface. This may be done during tooth brushing or similar oral hygiene processes. However, they are mainly meant for entertainment purposes. Using a mirror for instructing is not easy because one has to be quite close to the mirror and therefore the instructions projected onto the mirror may not be visible. Usually a dental hygienist has to stand beside the person to be instructed, follow how he or she brushes his or her teeth and give instructions based on on observations from the mirror. An interactive mirror is disclosed in the patent publication WO2016005333. The mirror it presents, suffers from the disadvantages that were described before. Also, it is a cumbersome construct and it is not easy to adapt. BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The object of the invention is a solution that can significantly reduce the disadvantages and drawbacks of the prior art. In particular, the object of the invention is a device that improves oral hygiene instruction.

The objects of the invention are attained with a device that is characterised by what is stated in the independent patent claim. Some advantageous embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

The invention is an oral hygiene instruction device fora user. The device comprises a mirror, a processing unit and a touchscreen display. The mirror has a reflective part and a semi-reflective part. The touchscreen display is behind the semi-reflective part. The prosessing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display, and the activated area of the touchscreen display is configured to provide instructions to the user when the device is in use. The processing unit recognizes the motions of the user and gives further instructions based on the recognized motions. When reference is made in the text to the upper or the lower parts or respective directions such as down or up, a situation is described in which the device according to the invention is in use. Also, when reference is made to the vertical or horizontal directions or surfaces, the device is placed similarly.

In one embodiment of the invention is a device for instructing a user how to maintain oral hygiene, the device comprising a mirror and a frame, and the mirror is fixed to the frame. In one advantageous embodiment of the invention, the device further comprises a processing unit and a touchscreen display. The mirror comprises a reflective part and a semi-reflective part and the touchscreen display is at least partly behind the semi-reflective part, and the prosessing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display, and the activated area of the touchscreen display is configured to provide instructions to the user when the device is in use. In one embodiment of the device, the semi-reflective part of the mirror is configured to reflect an image of the user when the touchscreen display is inactive.

In a second embodiment of the device, the processing unit and the touchscreen display are configured in a such way that at the start of the instructions the user is asked to tap the touchscreen display at the height the user feels comfortable to watch and the activated area is activated at the proximity of the tap point.

In some embodiment, the activated area of the touchscreen display is configured to display a user interface.

In a third embodiment of the device, the device further comprises a camera that is configured to detect when the user is in front of the mirror and to capture images of the user.

In a fourth embodiment of the device, the prosessing unit is configured to approximate the size of the user based on a stored image of the user as captured by the camera, and the prosessing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display, and at least part of the activated area of the touchscreen display is at the same level as the face of the user.

In a fifth embodiment of the device, the instructions comprise at least a 3D-animation based on images of the user as captured by the camera. In a sixth embodiment of the device, the animation includes at least a head and a mouth, and the animated head is positioned in such a way that it corresponds to the position of the reflection of the user’s head in the mirror. In a seventh embodiment of the device, the animation is configured to instruct the user how to brush his or her teeth, and the animation includes the position where the user’s toothbrush should be, and the device is configured to give feedback to the user how to hold the toothbrush in a desired manner.

In an eighth embodiment of the device, the prosessing unit is configured to detect the position of a toothbrush that the user is using in front of the device and to visualize a correspondingly positioned animated toothbrush.

In a ninth embodiment of the device, the processing unit is configured to store the user’s responses to the instructions. In a tenth embodiment of the device, the device further comprise a dispenser, and the dispenser is configured to contain dental hygiene products, and based on the stored responses, the dispenser is configured to provide at least one dental hygiene product to the user. In an eleventh embodiment of the device, the processing unit comprises means for connecting to an external device, and the external device is a portable device carried by the user, and based on the stored responses, the processing unit is configured to send further instructions to the external device. In a twelfth embodiment of the device, the device further comprises a microphone. In a thirteenth embodiment of the device, the device is configured to instruct the user how to brush his or her teeth, and when the user is brushing his or her teeth, the device is configured to record at least some of the tooth brushing sounds with the microphone, and at least some of the recorded tooth brushing sounds are used for evaluating the user’s tooth brushing technique.

In a fourteenth embodiment of the device, the device further comprises a toothbrush, and the toothbrush or the device or both comprise one or more sensors for detecting movements of the toothbrush, and the processing unit is configured to use the movement data for generating instructions. It is an advantage of the invention that it provides a device that is particularly suitable for instructing a user how to maintain oral hygiene. Also, when using a device, the user may give more truthful answers than he or she would to another person. Furthermore, the invention reduces the need for personnel for basic instruction, and they can focus on planning the user’s dental care further. An advantange of the invention is that it provides a new way of teaching preventive home care, reducing the occurrence of common oral diseases, such as caries and periodotitis, and shortening dental care queues.

One advantage of the invention is that differently sized users can easily make use of it. It is a further advantage of the invention that it can be easily optimized for different user segments.

The invention also provides a device that is interactive and it entertains and relaxes the user. DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FIGURES

In the following, the invention is described in detail. The description refers to the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 shows an example of a device according to an embodiment, and Figure 2 shows a second example of a device according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FIGURES The embodiments in the following description are given as examples only and someone skilled in the art can carry out the basic idea of the invention also in some other way than what is described in the description. Though the description may refer to a certain embodiment or embodiments in several places, this does not mean that the reference would be directed towards only one described embodiment or that the described characteristic would be usable only in one described embodiment. The individual characteristics of two or more embodiments may be combined and new embodiments of the invention may thus be provided.

Figure 1 shows an embodiment of a device 100 for instructing a user how to maintain oral hygiene. When the device is activated, it will perform an instruction session for the user. The device comprises a mirror 101 , a frame 102, a processing unit, and a touchscreen display 103. The touchscreen display is behind the mirror.

The mirror 101 is a vertically elongated structure. This means that the height of the mirror is greater than its width. This is the preferred shape, because the device 100 is meant for one user at a time. The mirror comprises a reflective part and a semi- reflective part 104. The touchscreen display 103 is at least partly behind the semi- reflective part. The semi-reflective part of the mirror is made such that it reflects light when the touchscreen display or some area of the touchscreen display is inactive, i.e. the touchscreen display is not emitting light. The emitted light of the touchscreen display is more intense than the reflection of the semi-reflective part, so the images rendered on the touchscreen display are more prominent than the reflection. If the intensity of the touchscreen display is reduced or the touchscreen display is turned off, the reflection on the semi-reflective part can be seen again. The semi-reflective part of the mirror is positioned in such a way that when the user stands before the device, the user’s face is at the same level as the semi-reflective part of the mirror, i.e. the user’s face is in front of the semi-reflective part. This means that the mirror is positioned in such away that the upper edge of the mirror is at least slightly above the average height of the users. The frame 102 is for supporting and protecting the components of the device 100. The mirror 101 is fixed to the frame. The frame forms a base for the other parts of the device. The device is standing on the base on some surface, such as a floor. Of course, there are embodiments where the device is hung to the wall, so the base is unnecessary. The frame is constructed in such a way that the surface of the mirror is vertical. Also, the frame doubles as a platform for additional components for the device. These components include, for example, cameras, microphones or speakers.

The touchscreen display 103 is a display that is able to render images, animation and recorded video. The touchscreen makes it possible to implement an interface using touch-activated buttons. The processing unit controls the touchscreen display and other functions of the device 100. The processing unit is a computer or a similar arrangement having computing properties. The processing unit comprises at least random-access memory, a processor and persistent data storage. The processing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display. This activated area can consist of the whole area of the touchscreen display or part of it (as in several distinct areas of the touchscreen display). The memory of the processing unit contains at least a part of the instructions for maintaining oral hygiene that the device 100 is providing the user during the instruction session. The processing unit is configured to store the user’s responses to the instructions. These responses may be interactions with the interface at some stage of the instruction session. In some embodiments, the responses may be recognized by the device. In those embodiments, the device comprises sensors to monitor some motions of the user. In some embodiments, the device further comprise a dispenser, and the dispenser is configured to contain dental hygiene products, and based on the stored responses, the dispenser is configured to provide at least one dental hygiene product to the user.

In some embodiments, the size of the touchscreen display 103 is approximately the same as the size of the mirror 101 . In some embodiments, the processing unit and the touchscreen display are configured in a such way that at the start of the instructions the user is asked to tap the touchscreen display at the height the user feels comfortable to watch. The activated area is activated at the proximity of the tap point. The non-activated areas of the touchscreen display are black. The position of the activated area of the touchscreen display is preferrably at the same level as the face of the user. In some embodiments, the processing unit comprises a means for connecting to an external device, and the external device is a portable device carried by the user, and based on the stored responses, the processing unit is configured to send further instructions to the external device. This portable device can be, for example, a mobile phone.

When the user wants to start the instruction session, he or she stands in front of the device 100. The device has some detector to detect the user standing near the device or the device has some activation arrangement such as, for example, a touchscreen interface button that the user should touch to initiate the instruction session. When the instruction session is initiated, the processing unit renders at least images or videos on the touchscreen display 103. The instruction session may contain guidance on how to brush one’s teeth. In some embodiments, the device comprises some arrangements to record the user’s teeth brushing motions. These recorded tooth brushing motions can be used as a basis for an animation on the touchscreen display. The animation instructs the user how to brush his or her teeth. The animation may include instructions how the user should position the toothbrush, and the device is configured to give feedback to the user on how to hold the toothbrush in a desired manner. In some embodiments, the animation includes at least a head and a mouth, and the animated head is positioned in such a way that it corresponds to the position of the reflection of the user’s head in the mirror. In some embodiments, the prosessing unit is configured to detect the position of a toothbrush that the user is using in front of the device and to render a correspondingly positioned animated toothbrush to the animation. When the instruction session is ended, the device may switch the device to a waiting mode. The instructions depend the user’s age and life situation. The user can choose between different instruction sets by answering questions during the instruction session. In some embodiments, the contents can include a multitude of different instruction sets and only some of them are presented to the user. The instruction session may follow many different progression paths. In some embodiments, the device gathers data about the user and sends it to some external data storage such as a patient database.

Figure 2 shows an embodiment of a device 200 for instructing a user how to maintain oral hygiene. The device comprises a mirror 201 , a frame 202, a processing unit, and a touchscreen display 203. The device further comprises a camera 206, a microphone 207 and speakers 208. The mirror 201 comprises a reflective part and a semi-reflective part 204. The touchscreen display 203 is behind the semi-reflective part. The processing unit is configured to activate an area 205 on the touchscreen display. The shape and the position of the activated area on the touchscreen display can vary.

The camera 206 is positioned on the frame 202 in such a way that the camera is able to image the user standing before the device 200. Preferrably, the camera is positioned in such a way that the camera can capture the user’s face. In some embodiments, the device comprises several cameras. In some embodiments, the device is configured to start the instruction session when the camera detects a user in front of the device.

In this embodiment, the camera 206 is configured in such a way that the prosessing unit is able to approximate the size of the user based on an image of the user as captured by the camera. The prosessing unit is configured to activate an area of the touchscreen display, and the activated area 205 of the touchscreen display 203 is at the same level as the face of the user. This means that the user can see instructions on the touchscreen display easily. The device can thus be adapted to the height of the user. In the figure 2, the activated area is at the bottom area of the touchscreen display. The user in that case may be a child. If a taller user uses the device, the activated area is positioned higher.

The camera 206 captures the user’s face during the instruction session. If the instructions include guidance for tooth brushing, the camera captures the tooth brushing motions of the user. The instructions comprise at least an animation based on images of the user as captured by the camera. In some embodiments the animation is 3D-animation. The animation includes at least the head and the mouth of the user or parts of them. The animated head is positioned in such a way that it corresponds to the position of the reflection of the user’s head in the mirror. The animation is configured to instruct the user how to brush his or her teeth, and the animation includes the position where the user’s toothbrush should be, and the device is configured to give feedback to the user in how to hold the toothbrush in a desired manner.

In some embodiments, the device comprises a special toothbrush. The toothbrush comprise one or more sensors for detecting movements of the toothbrush, and the processing unit is configured to use the movement data for generating instructions. In some embodiments, the sensors are acceleration sensors. In some embodiments, the data from the toothbrush is used for animating the toothbrush on the animated part of the instruction set. In some embodiments, the movements of the toothbrush are detected by an apparatus attached to the wrist of the user. This apparatus may be a loop or similar structure, which can be wrapped tightly around the wrist. In some embodiments, the microphone 207 is configured to record at least some of the tooth brushing sounds, and at least some of the recorded tooth brushing sounds are used for evaluating the user’s tooth brushing technique. The speakers 208 are used for providing audible instructions during the instruction session.

Some advantageous embodiments of the device according to the invention have been described above. The invention is however not limited to the embodiments described above, but the inventive idea can be applied in numerous ways within the scope of the claims.