Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

3 Reasons Why A Nationwide Contact Tracing System Is A Pipedream

At a time when construction companies and businesses across New Zealand are preparing to return to work safely under Level 3 restrictions, a Kiwi technology company at the forefront of contactless ‘proof of presence’ tracing solutions describes chasing a single nationwide solution to Covid-19 contact tracing as a ‘pipedream’ - instead recommending a site-by-site approach to tracing as the key to achieving a coronavirus-free future for New Zealand.

Simon Yock, founder of Forsite Limited, which was established in Auckland in 2016 to provide contact tracing and proof of presence solutions to the property and construction sectors, describes three barriers to putting in place a single affective nationwide solution:

1. Practicality – a single system would require New Zealand’s population to have Bluetooth and geolocation active on a device at all times, running in the background and only draining small amounts of battery. Added are the practicalities of storing immense amounts of data, safely, without overloading existing mobile networks, which Yock describes as ‘a monstrous exercise’.

2. Civil liberties – downloading a Government app would be highly unlikely to get enough take-up to be effective. This approach has failed everywhere except China. A mere 20% take-up in the normally compliant Singapore population shows it would be unlikely to work in New Zealand.

3. Security – the security challenges of protecting massively growing data on one database would be immense, with the database inevitably becoming a concerted focus for hackers.

Instead, Yock says that a business-level solution requiring an automatic, technology-enabled log in and out of sites, as part of Health & Safety requirements, will provide instant and accurate records of individual visits, making it easy to follow the train of transmission if necessary.

Yock says a contactless solution to this challenge already exists, as Forsite has been working in this ‘sweet spot’ to help companies meet Workplace Health & safety regulation changes since 2016, providing automated proof of presence systems for companies and sites all over the world.

Forsite users install an app that talks to a sensor installed at entry/exit points on clients’ sites. “The Forsite app runs in the background, identifying everyone within 10 metres of a sensor. Notification is sent to the Cloud: automatic, real-time proof of presence. Any user arriving at a monitored location is logged when they enter and leave, even if they don’t take any action to check in.”

Yock adds that this solution is ready to be deployed right now. “It is a simple fix that could make a massive difference. We already have 10,000 users in New Zealand, Australia and the UK on our system, and over 2.5 million sqm of property under management worldwide. Before Covid-19 struck, we were on track to increase our volume 40-fold this year to over 100 million square metres, but we are seeing that accelerating as organisations seek to put in place an effective contract tracing and contactless check-in solution”.

Organisations already using Forsite include Precinct Properties, PMG Group, Savills, Mason CBRE, Colliers International, Stride Property, Mason Partners, CEG, Foodstuffs and a number of other companies.

Describing ‘tens of thousands of hours’ spent mastering the system in its early days, Yock says that Forsite has learnt that five things are required for an automated tracing system to work properly:

  1. The system can’t draw battery off a user’s device: minimal battery consumption
  2. It must require minimal data from users
  3. It must make the process easy, fast, foolproof and 100% automatic
  4. It must be entirely contactless
  5. It must require as close as possible to zero time consumption for the user.

“For it to work it must ask the person coming onto site for as close to zero as possible: data, time, battery, information that puts them at risk or discomfort.”

However, he does add: “Tracing is the key to a Covid-free future, but it only works if you have complete data. Contact tracing site-by-site puts responsibility onto individual site managers, and they can choose the solution that best suits their individual needs, rather than using a mandated solution that is reliant on one provider or app.

“Not only does this approach avoid giving data wholesale to the government, but it also makes gathering data feasible. It will help sites to return to operation sooner, and keep them safer, while helping to track the spread of any future outbreaks.

“Contact tracing will be part of our new normal for a while to come, particularly as we see second waves of the virus going around the world, and NZ heads into winter. Until there is a vaccine, contact tracing is going to be key.”

For more information, visit Forsite’s Covid-19 web page: https://getforsite.com/covid-19-nz-business

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

DIY Law: Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents

Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector ... More>>

ALSO:

Media Awards: The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards

The New Zealand Herald has been labelled a “powerhouse news operation” as it claims the two biggest prizes – Newspaper of the Year and Website of the Year – along with many individual awards at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards Website of the ... More>>

ALSO:

ASB Bank: ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate

ASB has moved again to support its customers, cutting a number of home loan rates, including the two-year special rate to a new low of 2.69% p.a. Craig Sims, ASB executive general manager Retail Banking says the reduced rate will be welcome news for many ... More>>

ALSO:

Nathan Hoturoa Gray: The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19

To begin to understand disease transmission in a country requires adequate testing of your population with properly vetted, accurate tests. As the world struggles to find what 'adequate percentage' of the population is necessary, (estimates predict ... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Fletcher Building To Lay Off 1000 Staff In New Zealand

The construction company will cut around 10 percent of its workforce as it struggles with the fallout from Covid-19. More>>

ALSO:

Can Pay, Won't Pay: Cashflow Moves Urged

Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home

For understandable reasons, the media messaging around Level Two has been all about “freedom” and “celebration”, but this is not necessarily going to be a universal experience. When it comes to workplace relations, Level Two is just as likely to ... More>>

ALSO:


Telecoms: Spark Welcomes Spectrum Allocation And Prepares For 5G Rollout Over The Next 12 Months

Spark welcomes spectrum allocation and prepares for 5G rollout over the next 12 months Spark today welcomed the announcement of the direct allocation process of 5G spectrum, with the Company to be offered management rights to 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz ... More>>

ALSO:


Trade: Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive

Imports in April 2020 had their biggest fall since October 2009, resulting in a monthly trade surplus of $1.3 billion, Stats NZ said today. “This is the largest monthly trade surplus on record and the annual goods trade deficit is the lowest ... More>>

ALSO:


Media Blues: Stuff Chief Executive Buys Company For $1

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher has purchased Stuff from its Australian owners Nine Entertainment for $1.
The chief executive was returning the company to New Zealand ownership, with the sale is expected to be completed by 31 May.
"Our plan is to transition the ownership of Stuff to give staff a direct stake in the business as shareholders," Boucher said in a statement.... More>>

ALSO:

RNZ: Bar Reopening Night 'much, Much Quieter'

Pubs and bars are reporting a sluggish first day back after the lockdown, with the fear of going out, or perhaps the joy of staying home, thought to be a reason for the low numbers. More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: New Zealand’s Population Passes 5 Million

New Zealand's resident population provisionally reached 5 million in March 2020, Stats NZ said today. More>>

NIWA: Seven Weeks Of Clearing The Air Provides Huge Benefits: Scientist

Seven weeks of lockdown has provided evidence of how pollution can vanish overnight with benefits for the environment and individuals, says NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley. Dr Longley has been monitoring air quality in Auckland, Wellington ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Milestone In Cash Flow Support To SMEs

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. More>>

ALSO:



University Of Canterbury: Astronomers Discover The Science Behind Star Bursts That Light Up The Sky

University of Canterbury (UC) astronomers are part of an international team that has revealed how explosions on the surface of a white dwarf star can increase its brightness by thousands or millions of times making it look like a new star. For ... More>>

Air NZ: Air New Zealand Adds Business-timed Flights For Regions

Air New Zealand will operate business-timed flights in and out of a number of regional ports from next month.
The flights will allow customers in Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill to undertake a day of business in either Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch... More>>

ALSO: