Air Canada tests out contact tracing app

Air Canada is planning to test out wearable contact tracing technology using a Bluetooth-enabled app.

“The health and safety of our employees is of paramount concern to Air Canada and is key to restoring our operations safely for our customers. Air Canada has embraced a science-based approach to managing COVID-19 and as part of this has committed to evaluate the use of new technologies like TraceSCAN’s wearables,” says Samuel Elfassy, vice president of safety at Air Canada. “This Canadian technology has the potential to provide another layer of safety for our employees.”

A recent survey found that 86 per cent of employees worldwide are comfortable with contact tracing led by their employer for organizational safety.

The technology behind the app was developed in partnership with researchers at the University of Waterloo.

“TraceSCAN is an AI-powered solution for contact tracing in the workplace which can track staff exposure to COVID-19 without GPS information,” says William Melek, University of Waterloo mechanical and mechatronics engineering professor. “The technology provides a risk-based assessment of an individual’s exposure within dynamic and dense work environments. The technology enables the creation and management of safer work environments needed during this critical phase of the pandemic.”

The project supplements the Canadian government-sponsored COVID Alert App, says Sayan Navaratnam, chairman and CEO at Facedrive.

“Many of these employees work in environments where the use of cellphone technology is not possible.”

COVID testing and tracing is associated with a reduction in working hour losses of as much as 50 per cent, according to an earlier report from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The federal government’s COVID Alert App should be downloaded by everyone to stop the spread of the virus, according to the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) in Toronto.

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