KINETIC Wearable Tech Improves Contact Tracing, Prevents Close Contacts

By RFID Journal

The company's new ebook helps organizations implement data-driven practices and fine-tune processes to help keep their workforce safe.

KINETIC, a New York-based company that provides wearable technology designed to foster safe environments for the industrial workforce, has announced the publication of a new ebook. The 21-page free ebook, titled "Connected Safety and COVID-19: Insights on the Impact of Wearable Tech," presents insights and feedback from users of KINETIC's Reflex system regarding the impact that wearables can have on managing workforce health and safety during the pandemic. According to the ebook's authors, organizations that have deployed KINETIC's wearable technology have improved contact-tracing processes and reduced close contacts and the spread of COVID-19 among their workers.

The Reflex is a smart wearable device that can be worn on industrial workers' belts or waistbands. It automatically detects unsafe work postures and provides users with real-time feedback to help them reduce the risk of injuries and create better work habits. The technology was recently updated with features to enable workers to practice proper social distancing and keep them safe during the pandemic. The Reflex has been deployed at hundreds of facilities worldwide, KINETIC reports, noting that these companies have reported a 56 percent reduction in injury rates while increasing team productivity rates by 5 percent.

KINETIC's Reflex wearable device

KINETIC's customers include businesses in the retail, logistics and manufacturing sectors. The firm offers a software-analytics platform that enables management to conduct contact tracing and produce detailed reports regarding each interaction. If a worker tests positive for the coronavirus, management can protect their workforce by exporting a list of everyone who could have potentially been exposed, as well as the duration of each contact. The software-analytics platform is intended to reduce workplace injuries and protect workers from COVID-19.

The ebook explains how data gained from such wearable technology impacts contact-tracing processes and close contacts in the industrial workforce. The information presented is derived from multiple deployments of the Reflex wearable and its COVID-protection functionality. The device is designed to add validity and accuracy to the contact-tracing process, KINETIC indicates, and to help decrease the number of close contacts within a workplace.

The data-driven Reflex device provides organizations with a contact-tracing dashboard to identify and report on every interaction that takes place between employees. This is intended to help businesses reduce manager and human resources time by 50 percent, according to the company, while heightened accuracy allows employers to be more strategic and confident in their contact-tracing efforts.

Data generated by connected devices provides valuable insights, KINETIC explains, revealing problem areas in which changes in design or processes can enhance safety practices, such as if an entire shift is working to unload a large trailer at the same time. Such actionable insights can help businesses reduce the number of close contacts by an average of 31 percent, according to the ebook, as well as decrease the incidence of unique and long-duration contacts.

The ebook offers suggestions for off-shift workplace behavior, intended to reduce both close contacts and contact duration during peak contact timeframes, such as during lunchtime and breaks, and to increase social-distancing awareness and reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees. Using wearable tech data, KINETIC reports, one ecommerce company reduced lunchtime contacts by 70 percent.

"We've found the greatest immediate value wearable tech offers companies is a new, actionable data set that augments contact tracing and uncovers opportunities for enhanced workplace safety amidst COVID concerns," said Haytham Elhawary, KINETIC co-founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "As the KINETIC Reflex generates more data over time, the potential for more behavioral change through workplace redesign will grow."