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Wearable devices have been used to enhance safety in workplaces and nursing homes where they can raise the alarm if, for example, a dockworker falls in the water (Rombit) or an elderly resident displays abnormal activity levels (CarePredict). Now many brands are offering another safety measure specific to COVID-19, by programming wearables to support social distancing and assist with contact tracing.

Wearing such a device obviously doesn’t protect people from COVID-19, but it is another tool to reduce and respond to the risk of transmission.

For these features to be effective, everyone in an eco-system needs to wear the same devices. This enables them to ‘talk to each other’ and trigger an alert if wearers come within less than 1.5m of each other, and notify wearers if they have recently come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus – while enabling management to get a full contact tracing report immediately.

Wearing such a device obviously doesn’t protect people from COVID-19, but it is another tool to reduce and respond to the risk of transmission.

While some devices cost as much as $100, the Toronto Wolfpack stadium in Canada is in talks with TraceSafe Technologies to develop an inexpensive wristband that their fans can wear to a game and dispose of immediately afterwards.

While some devices cost as much as $100, the Toronto Wolfpack stadium in Canada is in talks with TraceSafe Technologies to develop an inexpensive wristband that their fans can wear to a game and dispose of immediately afterwards – much like the admission wristbands that festival-goers wear. They are anticipating the cost should be less than $5.

It will be possible to programme these bracelets to ‘recognise’ family members you came to the game with, and not apply social distancing rules to them. And by capturing a phone number associated with each bracelet, fans can be contacted after the game, if necessary.

When larger events such as exhibitions are allowed again in SA, wearables like this could prove valuable to help protect your staff, attendees and reputation.