Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is providing Facedrive Inc. with $2.5 million to speed the deployment of its wearable contact tracing technology, TraceSCAN, which alerts users within a workplace who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.
The technology is designed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for workplaces and settings where smartphone use is limited or prohibited, including construction sites, airlines, schools and long-term care homes. It will add another layer of safety and protection through identification and isolation of new COVID-19 cases, tracing back the interactions and helping to stop the contamination.
TraceSCAN has already been deployed in multiple pilot projects, leading to the successful adoption of the technology in real-world settings. Some of the businesses and organizations that are using TraceSCAN include Air Canada, LiUNA and Waywayseecappo First Nation.
“In our fight against COVID-19, Ontario is continuing to support companies like Facedrive that are developing the innovative technology that adds new layers of defence against this global pandemic,” said Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade.
Facedrive developed TraceSCAN’s made-in-Ontario AI-powered solution in partnership with the University of Waterloo to track staff exposure to COVID-19 without GPS information.
Workers simply wear the device and the wearable technology will communicate with others within a workplace environment.
If users are less than six feet apart, the device beeps to alert the users. If anyone in the working premises reports COVID-19 positive, HR or health and safety officials can log in to the online reporting dashboard and see who they have been in contact with and their risk level, then send an exposure notification. Contact tracing will be made simple with all of the close proximity contact having been recorded.
“My door is always open to new and innovative solutions to help keep workers safe during COVID-19,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “Contact tracing technologies have the potential to protect essential workers until the province receives a sufficient number of vaccines. We need more made-in-Ontario solutions to keep workers safe.”
Through the Ontario Together Fund, the government is delivering targeted investments that will increase the province’s stockpile of made-in-Ontario products and PPE. This innovative technology and manufacturing capacity will help the province to combat the current COVID-19 outbreak and prepare for potential challenges in the future, while supporting local businesses during the safe and gradual reopening of the province.
The government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
Businesses and individuals looking to help in the fight against COVID-19 can submit their proposals through the Ontario Together portal.
Facedrive Inc. is an Ontario-based technology company founded in 2016. It delivers a range of products and services, including ride sharing, food delivery, wearable health tech solutions, electric vehicle subscriptions, and a social networking platform.”