Bluetooth wristband could help make large-scale Covid-19 lockdowns unnecessary by targeting only those who may be infected

Accent Systems

If all members of a local or national population were given the wearable, which is based on a Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) System-on-Chip (SoC), the moment an individual tested positive authorities would be able to rapidly trace every single person they had come into contact with and only they would need to be quarantined

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Spanish engineering company, Accent Systems, has developed a ‘Covid-19 BLE wristband’ that Accent claims could help contain and prevent the accelerated spread of Covid-19 through high accuracy contact tracing of any individuals who test positive for the disease. In doing so, Accent says many large-scale lockdowns could be avoided as only those individuals at risk of contracting the virus would be required to go into quarantine, rather than every single member of a given population, as is currently the case across the world.

Accent says its Covid-19 BLE wristband is already being deployed by some countries in the Middle East as governments seek innovative ways to combat the virus while avoiding the major social and economic disruption that large-scale lockdowns cause.
The majority of a population are allowed to continue living and working normally, and the focus shifts to the precision tracing and isolation of only those individuals who may have come into contact with someone who is infected
Jordi Casamada, Accent Systems
“Our wristband is a much more effective alternative to confining an entire population which does not one hundred percent guarantee that transmission of the virus is stopped as a new outbreak may appear at any time,” comments Accent Systems CEO, Jordi Casamada.
 
“Instead the majority of a population are allowed to continue living and working normally, and the focus shifts to the precision tracing and isolation of only those individuals who may have come into contact with someone who is infected, no matter how large or diverse that network may be.”
 
In operation each Covid-19 BLE wristband is uniquely identifiable and uses Bluetooth LE wireless technology to detect and record the unique user ID of every other Covid-19 BLE wristband that comes within the two meter ‘safe distance zone’ of the wearer on a rolling 15 to 30 day basis. If a wearer then develops symptoms of Covid-19 their wristband data is automatically sent to the nearest medical center so that everyone they have come into contact with can be told to go into quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or until tested negative.
 
“What’s really great about our solution is that the identity of each wearer is both encrypted and GDPR compliant, meaning only authorized authorities can access the data, and only when required,” adds Casamada. “Otherwise the whole system is completely anonymous and collected data automatically deleted after 15 to 30 days.”
 
“What’s already become very clear in the battle against Covid-19 is the power of the IoT and accurate data analytics to help track down and significantly reduce the infection rate of this terrible virus,” concludes Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor Director of Sales & Marketing. “But I am also extremely encouraged by a growing trend among the world’s leading product and engineering companies to step forward and develop low cost solutions at extremely high speed that can help governments and healthcare authorities around the world turn the tide in the battle against this invisible killer.”
 
Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) and features -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM.

 

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