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Port of Antwerp tests smart bracelet to prevent COVID-19 on the workfloor

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Rombit has developed the Romware COVID Radius, a digital bracelet that ensures social distancing and permits contact tracing. Port of Antwerp will be the first to use this innovative bracelet.

Antwerp Port Authority is first to test

To produce this armband, Rombit has added new functions to its existing safety bracelet, the Romware ONE. This will help employees to observe the strict precautions laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO) while respecting the privacy of the wearer. The initiative is also a response to the call by the Flemish Government to create digital solutions for helping society through the current COVID-19 crisis. Port of Antwerp, which recently introduced a project with the safety bracelet, will be the first to make use of the COVID functions.

Social distancing and contact tracing

The new bracelet is aimed in the first place at social distancing. Whenever employees come too close to one another, they first get a warning signal. However, privacy is guaranteed: the COVID Wearable never passes on the location or other sensitive information to the employer.

At the same time, the bracelet permits contact tracing: if someone happens to be infected then a health advisor or trusted confidant can check which work colleagues the person has come in contact with, in order to prevent further infection.

Port of Antwerp CEO, Jacques Vandermeiren, said: "Innovation and digital transformation are crucial in times of crisis such as these. It is essential to keep the port operational, and to ensure that our employees can work safely. We therefore see great potential in this solution and will shortly start trials with a team of operatives."

Rombit CEO, John Baekelmans, added: "The new '1.5 m economy' depends on reliable aids. We are therefore making huge efforts to get the modified bracelet onto the mass market in large quantities, so that we can contribute towards getting the economy safely restarted. There is already great international interest."

Port alderman, Annick De Ridder, also commented: “It is fundamental that our economy can get back to full speed as soon as possible and that we focus on ways to ensure that this restart will proceed safely. As the port of Antwerp, we are happy to contribute by taking up our social role and functioning as a testing ground for technological innovation.”

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