As the focus on infection control in the fight again COVID-19 shifts to contact tracing, technology is sweeping in to offer some solutions. McKnight’s Senior Living reports on how senior living communities are using technology to aid in contact tracing.
Contact tracing involves retracing the movements of someone who has tested positive with COVID-19. Those people who have come in contact with the infected individual are then alerted that they may have been exposed to the virus; they can then be tested and isolated to prevent the spread.
Tech giants Apple and Google have announced plans to focus on health data-sharing and to design Bluetooth-based contact tracing for smartphones. In the meantime, senior living communities are taking advantage of other available technologies.
This contact-tracing technology usually comes in the form of a wristband that older adults can wear. The high-tech wristband traces a person’s traffic throughout the community. McKnight’s reports that the technology uses real-time indoor location technology to collect data, which can then be used to retrace the path of any infected resident, pinpoint any other residents who were in contact with that person, and discover how long they were in contact with that person. This is critically important to communities across the country so that they may react and make quick decisions for the well-being of their residents.
Tech manufacturer Microshare has moved from making sensors for hospital beds and wheelchairs to offering Bluetooth-enabled badges, key rings, and wristbands that can be passed out to staff members and residents to record encounters and store them in a database. Technology companies like Myplanet, Ford Motor Company, and Samsung are looking into ways to create different wearable contact-tracing devices that communicate with each other through Bluetooth, to presumably cast a wider net.
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Bonvissuto K. Senior living communities turn to wearable technology for contact tracing of COVID-19. McKnights Senior Living. May 21, 2020. https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/senior-living-communities-turn-to-wearable-technology-for-contact-tracing-of-covid-19/. Accessed June 3, 2020.