Paving the Road to Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the way we work, gather, and live, and the Bluetooth member community is doing its part to confront the new challenges of our new normal and help pave the road to recovery.

Developers, solution providers, facilities managers, property owners, and even government agencies are turning to Bluetooth® technology to implement innovative solutions that help manage the spread, accelerate reopening efforts across the globe, and enable safer treatment of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and future disease outbreaks.

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How Bluetooth® Technology is Enabling Safe Return Strategies in a COVID-19 Era

This report shares insight into how Bluetooth® technology is being leveraged to help enable a safe return to offices, commercial buildings, and public venues.

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Key Use Cases

Exposure Notification Systems

Typically deployed by government health agencies, public Exposure Notification Systems (ENS) use Bluetooth® technology already embedded in smartphones to notify people when they have been in close contact with someone who was later diagnosed with COVID-19 or another infectious disease. The Exposure Notification System created jointly by Google and Apple is a well-known example of an ENS.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is creating a specification that will establish a standardized method for adding support for wearable devices while preserving the same privacy and security protections of the ENS. By extending an ENS to include wearables, such as wristbands, it can better address population groups where smartphone usage remains low, including children in primary school and older adults living in care facilities.

Bluetooth® technology is one of the few technologies available that has the right combination of technical features, economies of scale, and developer ecosystem to take on the challenge of helping to determine where COVID-19 is in real time around the world.

Paul Elvikis
Director of Business Development for Laird Connectivity

Safe Return Solutions

Offices, factories, schools, stadiums, and other large venues around the world are looking to Bluetooth technology to power safe return solutions to help them take every reasonable precaution to reopen or continue to operate safely in this new reality. Employers are investing in health response infrastructures that are keeping employees and visitors safe and ensuring business continuity in the short term, while also enabling additional smart building applications over time that generate efficiencies and ROI in the post-COVID-19 world.

Occupancy Management

Bluetooth technology has been rapidly adopted in a variety of occupancy management solutions designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the facility by enabling building managers to more closely monitor and control the number of occupants at any given time in any given area.

Safe Occupancy

Monitoring congestion at the building level and measuring occupancy counts in specific zones to prevent overcrowding and establish appropriate scheduling and workflow practices.

Safe Distancing

Helping building occupants adhere to social distancing requirements to reduce the risk of viral transmission.

Safe Routing

Guiding workers and visitors through the building using the safest routes and understanding movement patterns to identify potential high-risk areas and avoid congestion before it happens.

Hygiene Management

Facilities are leveraging Bluetooth technology to meet increased building sanitization requirements and enforce hygiene compliance to minimize the risk of transmission in the building. Use-based sanitization solutions help ensure that shared resources such as tools and hot desks and common areas such as kitchens and conference rooms are disinfected in a more timely and efficient manner, keeping occupants healthy while also helping facilities prioritize cleaning resources and manage the cost of complying with new levels of cleanliness.

Exposure Management

Bluetooth technology is helping enterprises and schools respond quickly and confidently in the case of infection, enabling them to make intelligent decisions on preventive measures without resorting to building-wide shutdowns. Bluetooth health monitoring applications are enabling early, precautionary isolation measures while Bluetooth digital contact tracing solutions are helping break the chain of transmission and ensure business continuity even in the event of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Health Monitoring

Leveraging wearables to track temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and other biometric measurements in real time to aid in the prevention and control of COVID-19 infection.

Digital Contact Tracing

By notifying people who have come in contact with an infected individual, determining the length of those interactions, and preserving anonymity throughout the process, ENS and digital contact tracing solutions help ensure that enterprises and individuals can take the appropriate measures to minimize further spread without compromising employee privacy.

Touchless Access and Control

Bluetooth access control solutions leverage Bluetooth badges or smartphone-based entry systems to provide contactless building access that can help reduce the risk of infection and decrease the spread of the virus. To further reduce potential contamination, Bluetooth connected luminaires can be controlled by smartphones without the need to touch a physical light switch.

Bluetooth® technology is the go-to choice for solutions aimed at facilitating the reopening of public venues for a number of reasons. Bluetooth technology’s unique combination of capabilities helps it to deliver a value proposition unmatched by any other medium — open standards, low energy, low cost, and very wide adaptation.

Rom Eizenberg
CRO, Kontakt.io

Safe Treatment Solutions

Medical practitioners and facilities are embracing Bluetooth medical devices and solutions for diagnosis and treatment to minimize exposure and improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. Bluetooth technology is enabling safer in-facility patient diagnosis and monitoring and improved remote monitoring and in-home care, as well as safer facility management within healthcare environments.

Safe Facility Management

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are implementing Bluetooth location services solutions to better manage exposure risk by geofencing critical areas, routing patients and staff to optimized paths, and monitoring hand-hygiene stations to help enforce staff compliance. Bluetooth safe facility management solutions are also being deployed to track vital assets including code carts, ventilators, wheelchairs, and other medical equipment to help provide patients the care they need when they need it.

Safe Patient Diagnosis and Monitoring

Individuals suffering from a communicable disease require continuous monitoring of their vital signs, including core body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen saturation. By minimizing the need for frequent routine patient checks, Bluetooth connected health devices are helping reduce the possibility of cross-infection and enabling nursing staff and physicians to sustain care while maintaining appropriate distance.

 

Remote Patient Care

A fast-growing number of Bluetooth-enabled medical wearable devices including connected blood pressure monitors, continuous glucose monitors, pulse oximeters, and even asthma inhalers are helping administer medication and transmit critical information securely from patients to providers. Ongoing remote patient monitoring using Bluetooth technology is helping patients return home and isolate to continue their recovery without compromising the care they receive.

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