Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection among personnel can lead to extensive quarantine measures, or even temporary closure of the entire workplace if it is not possible to identify those potentially exposed to the virus. Finland’s Kaltio Technologies has developed a solution that enables occupational healthcare professionals to effectively identify those exposed in the workplace and guide them to the required quarantine, while other colleagues can continue working. The solution is globally available and well suited to support operations in, for example, care and nursing homes, construction sites, logistics centers, factories and offices.
Kaltiot Contact Tracker is based on sensor devices that employees carry during working hours to track their contact with other people. If there is a coronavirus infection among employees, the stored contact data can be used to trace who has been in close contact with the infected person on the possible day of exposure.
“Our societies are now opening up again, and it is important that workplaces have a reliable way to identify and screen those exposed to the virus and direct them to quarantine,” says Ville Heikkilä, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Kaltio Technologies Oy. “It is also important for companies and public services that people who have not been exposed are not quarantined. Our solution helps to keep the wheels turning in our society.”
The service can be used in such a way that the stored contact data will only be used if infections occur. Alternatively, the company may agree to trace the contact information more extensively to improve occupational safety during the pandemic. The accumulated data indicates in which situations the safe distance cannot be maintained, or when the duration of the close contact exceeds the safe limits. It is possible to collect only anonymous data and link it to individuals just if infections occur.
“The national contact tracing apps that are being developed in many countries will be voluntary. In countries already using similar applications, download volumes have been too small for comprehensive infection tracing,” says Heikkilä. “In addition, workplaces need data to monitor how their safety instructions work so that they can continuously improve occupational safety. We feel that contact tracing in the workplace is key both in the current situation and in the event of a possible second wave of the pandemic.”
Kaltiot Contact Tracker can also be used in company premises to track close contact between personnel and subcontractors, visitors and patients. The service has already been piloted at the Caritas care home in Kempele, Finland. “In the event of a possible coronavirus infection, it is very important for us to know exactly who an infected patient or staff member has been in close contact with,” says Petteri Viramo, Managing Director of Caritas. “We want to continuously improve the safety of our services, and contact tracing is essential for us at this stage of the pandemic.”
Kaltiot Contact Tracker is based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology (BLE), which is widely used for indoor positioning services. The data collected by the sensors is stored in the Kaltiot Smart Tracker mobile application, from where it is downloaded daily to the cloud service. Kaltio Technologies has used the same technology in its indoor positioning solutions for many years.