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Monkeypox-Ready Contact Tracing Devices Mitigate Business Risk

Concerns regarding four-week isolation periods for people contracting the virus addressed by wearable cards from SaferMe. Monkeypox has triggered emergency declarations or public health alerts at the federal level and in at least three U.S. states.

SaferMe, the global leader in contact tracing, has announced that its Bluetooth-enabled wearable contact tracing cards are now monkeypox-ready. The upgrade responds to business leaders’ concerns that they could lose employees and productivity for up to four weeks in the event of an outbreak. A cluster of cases inside an organization has the potential to cause significant short-term operational problems in key industry sectors.

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“The current perception is to view monkeypox as ‘just a sexually transmitted disease,’ yet the virus is also transmissible by respiratory droplets, much the same as Covid-19. Look at how many people work close to each other in factories, offices, and production facilities, and you can see how the risks to businesses start to grow,” says Clint Van Marrewijk, founder, and CEO of SaferMe. “Like early in the Covid pandemic, most businesses are either downplaying the risk posed by monkeypox to their daily operations or ignoring it completely. Now is the time to prepare.”

SaferMe, a provider of contact tracing solutions to Fortune 500 companies and the New Zealand Government believes that, after several risk escalations by international and domestic authorities, businesses cannot ignore the threat posed by the virus. These include:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declaring the continuing spread of monkeypox in the United States a public health emergency
  • The states of California and Illinois declaring states of emergency
  • New York State’s Health Commissioner recently issuing a declaration of an imminent threat to public health and San Francisco declaring a local public health emergency
  • The World Health Organization issuing its highest level of alert for the virus, categorizing it as a public health emergency of international concern

“Automatic contact tracing is a new technology that offers businesses the opportunity to rapidly respond to any viral outbreak among employees. Telephone tree calling systems, used during the initial outbreak of Covid are outdated and unproductive,” says Van Marrewijk. “These small disposable devices now provide business owners, HR, risk, and business continuity managers, with accurate information via an automated system. It ensures they do not overreact when they identify a case. This can cause the isolation of too many people and a shutdown of operations when it’s not necessary. Accurate data enables an accurate response.”

The contact tracing card delivers instant data that allows contact tracers to prioritize the most at-risk people. This minimizes the likelihood of false contacts being traced, which was a major contact tracing challenge during the initial stages of Covid.

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Overview Of SaferMe’s Contact Tracing Wearable Devices:

SaferMe’s contact tracing devices work by transmitting Bluetooth Low Energy signals to each other, never sharing location information, or storing any personal information about the wearer. Employees carry the cards on a lanyard, belt clip, or pouch while at work. An employee with a probable case of monkeypox, or any virus, pushes the button on the card to share data with administrators, so they can accurately determine who the employee has been in contact with.

The SaferMe system allows administrators to filter for various distances. The closest distance measured is 6 feet, which indicates that direct face-to-face contact has happened, and the maximum distance is 50 feet.

The cards have a shelf life of 18 months following delivery, and once activated will operate for 1,300 hours over a minimum of 6 months assuming normal use of 10 hours per day and 5 days per week. The cards are water and dust-proof to standard IP67.

SaferMe ensured that the cards were designed with data security and privacy in mind. After 21 days, any contact data stored on the card is automatically deleted. All data exchanged between cards, during synchronization and processing, is encrypted using the AES-128 standard or better, including the use of rolling keys. To further increase privacy, only the client’s authorized users can view contact tracing data on SaferMe.

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