Coronavirus News: Wearable sensor could help safeguard against COVID-19, get people back to work

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, May 18, 2020
Can a wearable sensor prevent COVID-19 infection at work?
Kemberly Richardson has more on a company in Brooklyn that created a wearable device for workers in places like warehouses to avoid getting injured but has since reconfigured the gadget to fit the needs that come along with living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Experts agree one of the best ways to stay safe during the pandemic is to continue practicing social distancing, but sometimes it is hard to know if you are 6 feet away from someone else -- but that's where high tech can help.[br /][br /]What will returning to work look like during the COVID-19 pandemic? It's something everyone is trying to picture as more businesses start opening up.[br /][br /]At Newlab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, they've got a pretty good idea.[br /][br /]"I think we've built this sandbox to test out these new approaches to returning workers to environments like this safely," said Newlab CEO, Shaun Stewart.[br /][br /]StrongArm Tech, based in Brooklyn, created a wearable device initially created for warehouse workers to avoid getting injured and has now reconfigured the gadget to fit the needs for the COVID-19 pandemic.[br /][br /]The device is about the size of a cellphone that you put in a small harness or a backpack and wear it while you work.[br /][br /]The FUSE sensor quickly measures a load of valuable information that its creator hopes will keep people healthy.[br /][br /]"The sensor is really designed to be kind of like a coach, a guardian angel that stings on your shoulder watching out for all the risks and then tapping you," said Tech CEO Sean Petterson.[br /][br /]If two people violate the recommended six feet under social distancing, the sensor will let you know by flashing and vibrating.[br /][br /]The device also collects vital details needed for contact tracing.[br /][br /]Right now, at this site each day, there are roughly 60 workers focused on essential COVID-19 related efforts like making PPE. The sensors on the device are crucial tools if anyone gets sick.[br /][br /]"Where did they go, what areas did they spend the most time in and who did they interact with," said Stewart.[br /][br /]The sensors have been in place for a week and so far, so good.[br /][br /]Newlab is the first client, a priority because of the work they do to support places like hospitals. A larger rollout is planned for June 1.[br /][br /]"We're hoping in a small way we're helping people have a bit more comfort and a little bit more awareness to be safer as we try and get this country back up and running," said Stewart.[br /][br /]url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""][h3]MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE[/h3][/url][br /][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="" REL=""][b]COVID-19 Help, Information and Resources[/b][/url][br /][br /][b]UPDATES [/b][br /][Ads /][br /][url HREF=";-4000-people-under-quarantine/5989875/" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]New York state[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]New Jersey[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]Connecticut [/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]Long Island[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]Grieving the lost: Tri-State residents who have died[/url][br /][br /][iframe SRC="" HEIGHTSMALL="700" HEIGHTMEDIUM="700" HEIGHTLARGE="700" /][br /][Ads /][br /][b]RELATED INFORMATION[/b][br /][Ads /][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]Share your coronavirus story with Eyewitness News[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]Stimulus check scams and other coronavirus hoaxes[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL=""]Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL="nofollow"]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus[/url][br /][url HREF="" TARGET="_blank" REL="nofollow"]Total count of NYC COVID-19 cases based on patient address[/url][br /][br /][iframe SRC="" HEIGHTSMALL="720" HEIGHTMEDIUM="720" HEIGHTLARGE="720" /]