Tracworx has developed a wristband that tracks the spread of Covid-19. Pictured above is Chris Kelly, Tracworx Chief Executive
Limerick technology company Tracworx create Covid-19 tracing wristband
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Sophia DiBattista
The Limerick technological firm Tracworx has developed a Covid-19 tracing wristband. This can be used in places where cell phones are not allowed such as hospitals and within factories.
Tracworx is a new technology company that seeks out the latest in tech-based advances and inventions. Since its foundation in 2016 by UL college students Chris Kelly, Eoin O’Brien and Fionn Barron, the Tracworx crew has created numerous devices that have helped people retain a safe, healthy life and have also allowed others to assist in that care as well. Now with this new Covid-19 wristband, more individuals will see what Tracworx can bring to the table.
This bracelet-type structure will allow people to see if any of their surroundings are infected or even susceptible to COVID symptoms. It works similarly to the HSE’s Covid-19 app as it shows details within various environments and people around them to determine if the virus is spreading or can be spread. All of this is done through Bluetooth.
Tracworx located in Steamboat Quay has been working day and night all throughout the lockdown to develop this wristband. All employees were able to continue working and keep busy during the lockdown period, and Chris Kelly, Tracworx Chief Executive, was determined to see the project through to completion.
Chris described how the bracelet looks and works, saying, “Every member of staff is given a device to wear, similar in size to an apple watch. When devices come close together, they record the time spent interacting with each other, and the distance away from each other.”
“Feedback is then given to staff on their social distancing on a daily basis in a traffic light system,” Chris said. In short, green means no contacts within two meters, amber means casual contacts within two meters or less than 15 minutes and red means contacts within two meters for more than 15 minutes. Then if there is another outbreak, people will be able to search up a fully automated contact tracing list.”
Now Chris is looking forward to opening the doors of employment to four new staff members. In the next few weeks, he hopes to increase his staff by adding four more people to the Tracworx engineering crew. He is specifically looking for two senior creators with general web development, someone to manage their newest tech and a machine learning expert.
Listen to Chris Kelly’s radio feature discussing the new contact tracing solution that Tracworx is offering. The new devices automate contact tracing and social distancing compliance in the workplace.https://t.co/yacsVa4pkj
— Tracworx® (@Tracworx_) July 24, 2020
Chris added, “I encourage any qualified individual to apply and I hope for more technological creations in the future with this expansion. It will bring in more support from outside organisations and allow us to continue our much needed output of devices.”
Even though the Tracworx employees were working day and night throughout the lockdown. Chris talked about how COVID changed the company, saying, “Prior to COVID-19 we worked on patient tracking systems in hospitals so this involved placing wearable devices on the patient’s wrists and tracking the amount of time they were spending in each phase of their care using their existing wi-fi infrastructure. This data was critical for optimising efficiencies and understanding the processes for them.”
“When COVID arrived, we knew the challenges with contact tracing and how big of a challenge it was going to be for healthcare institutions and many organizations that had to stay working. There was also a huge challenge with social distancing. We felt we had a product that was uniquely positioned to help this and obviously given our experience with working with sensitive information such as location data and patient data, we thought we could build a privacy centred solution that gave a lot of benefits back to the user,” he said.
With high hopes for the future, Chris is ready to keep production high in the coming years. He said, “For the coming years, we want to build a world-leading company within the real-time location services space, we want to be a top player in the global market and bring solutions that really solve those challenges. We can see that there is a huge gap in this market at the moment for a truly infrastructure-less tracking solution and that’s where we want to fit in. We are looking to expand our solutions to markets such as Australia, the UK and the USA.”
As for other Limerick businesses, Chris offered a bit of advice for how to rebound after the pandemic saying, “Limerick is a great place to start a business and there are lots of people around you that want to help and support you so make sure you tap into the local network. Don’t be afraid to ask other local entrepreneurs for help and advice because for me they have been a great source of support both personally and professionally.”
If you’d like to join the Tracworx team or read more on the company, click HERE
For more stories on Tracworx, click HERE