Friday, June 18, 2021
ADVT 
Tech

Research into using sensors to track health risks

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 18 Jun, 2020 08:35 PM
  • Research into using sensors to track health risks

A University of Calgary researcher says key cards, lanyards with sensors and wrist devices similar to Fitbits could help make schools and workplaces safer as people adjust to living with the novel coronavirus.

"Just as 9/11 changed our airports forever, COVID-19 is going to change how we design our public spaces and how we live, work and play," said Steven Liang, an associate professor in the Department of Geomatics Engineering at the university's Schulich School of Engineering.

Liang has been named to the Rogers Internet of Things Chair, which is meant to advance innovative tech solutions to support Canadian businesses.

He is focusing on energy, smart cities, transportation, and workplace safety, including COVID-19-related solutions.

"In future we need to know the risk levels for workplaces and workforces so that we can feel comfortable to go back to work — because life has to continue," Liang said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"The proper use of technology allows us to have additional protection and also allows decision-makers to say, 'OK, how can I justify my decisions? How soon should I bring my workforces back?'"

Liang believes digital sensors carried by staff or students may prove to be a way for employers and institutions to protect their people in a pandemic-sensitive world.

"It could be a button or a wristband. Wearables are something organizations or corporations could issue to their people, to monitor health and safety," said Liang.

"Like a laptop or identification card, it just becomes part of the gear you carry around at work."

Liang said sensors could be mounted on walls to identify overcrowding in hallways or in rooms to indicate when cleaning was necessary. Biosensors could be used to check temperatures and heart rates to prevent potentially ill people from coming inside and spreading the virus.

"My focus is not just the sensor, which is people-to-people interaction, but on people-to-place interactions as well," he said.

"The system would generate a risk profile for both people and places within the corporation, so you could track clusters and patterns, or identify a room that needs to be disinfected immediately."

Liang said the approach would help negate privacy concerns from people not wanting to be tracked through their cellphones.

He said not all workers would need to carry sensors, but added they could be useful to protect individuals working alone. Employers would know where their employees were and what conditions they were in.

Liang has a similar system already in place with Vancouver Fire Rescue Service, where trackers have been introduced to improve worker safety.

"There's a digital map where you can see where the firefighters are and what's their heart rate and their exposure to heat and gas."

Liang expects to produce a prototype within a couple of months that will be able to be studied to determine its possible applications in emerging challenges.

MORE Tech ARTICLES

Self-Driving Cars 'Learn' To Predict Pedestrian Movement

Scientists are using humans' gait, body symmetry and foot placement to teach self-driving cars to recognise and predict pedestrian movements with greater precision than current technologies.

Self-Driving Cars 'Learn' To Predict Pedestrian Movement

Workplace By Facebook Has A New Leader: Indian-Origin Executive KARANDEEP ANAND, From Facebook Marketplace

We're thrilled that Karandeep is joining Workplace as its new head of Workplace, effectively immediately.

Workplace By Facebook Has A New Leader: Indian-Origin Executive KARANDEEP ANAND, From Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Now Allows Users To Add Songs To Photos, Videos

Facebook Now Allows Users To Add Songs To Photos, Videos

Offering its over two billion monthly users new ways to express themselves, Facebook has introduced new music features, including an option to add a song to photos and videos they share to Facebook Stories.

Facebook Now Allows Users To Add Songs To Photos, Videos

Facebook Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit After Massive Security Breach

TORONTO — A class-action lawsuit has been proposed in Canada against Facebook following a security breach that put the accounts of tens of millions of users at risk.

Facebook Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit After Massive Security Breach

How Blue Light Accelerates Blindness

How Blue Light Accelerates Blindness
Are you addicted to your smartphones, laptops and tablets? The blue light emitting from these digital devices can affect your eye's retina and lead to age-related macular degeneration, according to a research led by a professor of Indian-origin.

How Blue Light Accelerates Blindness

Twitter Loses 1 Million Users In Q2, Stock Plummets

As it began to crack down on spammy and inactive accounts, Twitter on Friday reported a drop of 1 million users in the second quarter of 2018 -- with monthly active user count going down from 336 million in the last quarter to 335 million.

Twitter Loses 1 Million Users In Q2, Stock Plummets