As the coronavirus outbreak quickly surged worldwide, many countries started to adopt preventative measures like travel bans, remote work, and contact tracing. We don’t know if contact tracing will become the norm but various industries are using this technology to restart their operations and ensure safe return of employees.
TraceSafe is a Vancouver, Canada-based wearable tech firm. The company is working with cruise lines to develop onboard contact tracing systems that could help the industry reopen their operations. TraceSafe has entered into a partnership with Tritan Software, a Miami-based company that provides health and medical operations to 95% of major cruise lines, as well as the commercial shipping, energy and mining industries, reports TravelPulse. TraceSafe’s small medallion wristbands are a full suite of real-time location management services and contact tracing solutions. They use advanced low-power Bluetooth beacons in a variety of form factors to communicate. TraceSafe’s leading cloud management solution ensures both user privacy and user-friendly comprehensive administrative control.
Student-athletes and staff within Stanford University’s men’s and women’s basketball programs are now required to wear small devices throughout most of the day. The devices, which do not track location, are used specifically for contact-tracing purposes to identify if anyone came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, according to Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso. This implementation is part of a Pac-12 program that provides KINEXON SafeTags— small devices that can be worn on any part of the body — to member universities.
The government of Ontario is supporting the use of contact tracing wearables among construction employees. The government made the decision following endorsement by LIUNA (Laborer’s International Union of North America) and successful testing in pilot projects by the union. Many of LIUNA’s 130,000 members at construction sites across Canada will use the device. All workers on a site would wear the app in a wristband and the device would register contacts closer than two meters. An LED light blinks every two seconds when the user is too close to another worker, meaning TraceSCAN both records contact information and also warns of lack of social distancing.
Can Wearables Effectively Contain COVID-19?
To control an infectious disease, you must first interrupt its spread from person to person. This means quarantine, face masks, hygiene measures, and social distancing. Contact tracing can be a valuable tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. People involved should be aware that the intention isn’t to infringe privacy but to gather data to keep everyone safe.