Re-starting economies during the age of COVID-19

As the entire planet starts to lift restrictions imposed during various nationwide lockdowns due to SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19), a third of the global population that were in some form of lock down restrictions will start to emerge, with life slowly going back to normal and economies re-starting. By easing isolation restrictions there are fears of a second wave of SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19)   coming with a strong warning from WHO. In countries that has already emerged from the lockdown, such as China, are preparing for second wave shutting down certain facilities. Singapore  is a prime example where the pandemic was contained and once the economy re-opens it has seen spike of a second wave of the outbreak.

To avoid a second wave of infection and manage a re-start of economies, a measured approach must be taken by countries, cities and enterprises. With vaccines or even cure for SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) still months away, governments can’t keep lock-downs much longer due to effects to the economy and mental health of citizens. There is therefore a need to re-start economies as soon as possible in a safe and  responsible way without endangering the health of the population, especially the elderly are most susceptible to the effects of the pandemic. In Sweden, the approach taken is to isolate only the elderly and those that are showing symptoms of viral infection or are having coughs and cold. Apart from various economic stimulus given by governments to enterprises, the need for re-starting economies are growing every day. Is there a way for this to happen? One of the current trend is to create a contact tracing application that are being implemented in several countries including the UK who have committed to release the source code of the application.

The biggest factor why contact tracing will remain to be a per-country implementation are both privacy and the power of data. It is doubtful that any country will want to share its citizens data to others creating the need for innovative solutions deployed on a nationwide level. China, for example, has integrated the use of QR codes in Alipay and WeChat and rolled-out nationwide by early February. Other countries are exploring the same solution where they can manage who is allowed out of isolation and back to some form of normalcy. Having said that for a solution to be effective it must be able to identify status of citizens who are infected or immune to SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) without discrimination. For this to be implemented the classification of citizens must be discreet with a friendly enforcement instead of forceful. Furthermore, enterprises must do its share to ensure health advise and physical distancing restrictions are imposed in the workplace. When it comes to enterprise implementation innovations will emerge turning this SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic to a learning opportunity in population and workplace management.

In AWTG, we have been actively developing solutions together with our partners the first week that  SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) got out of China using knowledge learned during the 2002 SARS outbreak and what we are learning with the COVID-19 pandemic. Couple that with our technology and innovations, we came up with an intelligent Work Place Solution.

iWPS logo

The iWPS (intelligent Work Place Solution) is an end to end solution that enables safe and secure working environment in any conditions. It is specifically useful for back to work programmes during COVID-19. The iWPS can be used to ensure that physical distance is maintained by the workforce to ensure a safe working environment when workers are back to their work stations. It will also give peace of mind to Work Places and Enterprises by giving them the insight of which worker was close enough to another worker to enable contact tracing when an any worker is infected with COVID-19. The iWPS comes with a cloud implementation where companies can manage their workforce interaction, alerts and notifications; it also integrates to a wider Community application that enables contact tracing outside of the workplace. The Community Application integrates with existing government initiatives, applications and databases through open APIs.

The iWPS works in various ways as follows:

  1. Lone Worker: iWPS Hardware is worn by worker. Worker will be notified with an alert if they come into close proximity with other iWPS hardware wearers. The interaction is sent to the cloud via data connectivity.
  2. Community: The iWPS is implemented as a native application for Android and iOS. The application inside the mobile phone will track proximity to other users and trace interactions, of which information is sent anonymously to the cloud servers via any data connection.
  3. Integrated: the iWPS Hardware is paired to the Mobile application via Bluetooth enabling an end-to-end contact tracing and social distancing measures in the work place and in the outside world.The iWPS is especially useful for the following applications:
    • Social and Physical Distancing: Gives an alert when workers comes closer than required minimum safe distance.
    • Notification to users if they were in close proximity to identified COVID-19 positive patients.
    • Contact Tracing: Track and trace interactions with other workers anonymously  and  integration to r wider COVID-19 contact tracing and notification.
    • Emergency Alerts: Send alerts to system operators in case of emergency and to family and friends.
    • Provide Health Authority approved advice to users about COVID-19.
    • API Integration to Health and Gov’t Database for contact tracing.

     

To know more about this solution, contact us at info@awtg.co.uk.