TORONTO — The Ontario government has announced it is providing Ontario-based Facedrive Inc. with $2.5 million to accelerate the development of its wearable contact tracing technology, TraceSCAN.
The technology is designed for workplaces and settings where smartphone use is limited or prohibited such as construction sites, airlines, schools and long-term care homes, stated a Feb. 18 release.
The app, which is incorporated into a wristband, alerts users within a workplace who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The company anticipates manufacturing about 150,000 devices under the project.
Facedrive has been working with the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) on a pilot project since last year and LIUNA has endorsed the use of TraceSCAN on jobsites.
“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 Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli in the release. “Through the Ontario Together Fund, we will continue to make sure that companies like Facedrive have the resources they need to supply emergency products and innovative solutions during these challenging times, while creating skilled jobs for our province.”
Workers wearing the device will be in communication with others within a workplace environment and 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, human resources or health and safety officials can log in to an online reporting dashboard and see who they have been in contact with and their risk level, then send an exposure notification.
Other TraceSCAN users besides LIUNA have been Air Canada and Waywayseecappo First Nation.
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