Aussie startup develops Covid-19 contact tracing for workplace



Australian IoT startup Leash It has evolved its Bluetooth-based asset tracking system, LeashView, to enable organisations to quickly identify the contacts of any staff member, contractor or visitor to their facility testing positive for Covid-19, and the areas they might have contaminated.

Leash It founder and CEO, Tony Lotzof, said LeashView could greatly reduce the impact of a Covid-19 infection on a facility.

“A 50 floor construction site had to be completely shut down and 2,500 staff sent home to be isolated for 14 days after a single contractor tested positive for Covid-19.

“If that site had our LeashView solution installed the site manager could have easily tracked the movements of that contractor, shut down only the areas where he had been, and isolated only those staff members who had been in close contact.”

The LeashView system uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags worn by individuals and attached to portable equipment. These communicate with BLE gateways in each room or area of a site, and connected via WiFi or Ethernet and can easily be retrofitted to any infrastructure.

The data is gathered on a private secured server and made available via a browser only to the business administrators. The location of every tagged individual and asset can be viewed on floor plans of the facility.

Management can quickly generate a report on any individual that details their contacts and locations visited. They can then take prompt action to minimise the impact of an infected person by closing and sterilising those locations, and quarantining their contacts.

In addition to contract tracing the system can reduce the risk of infection spreading by constraining the movement of people and assets. Management can be informed by email or SMS when a tag leaves a pre-defined location or enters a prohibited location, and if the number of people in a location would be likely to infringe social distancing rules.

Lotzof said LeashView could be quickly installed even in a large facility. “We could have fitted out that 50 floor construction site in two days. And LeashView is very cost-effective. The gateway for each room costs $80, the tags cost between $5 and $20, and the monthly tracking is only $2 per tag.”

He said the company was in negotiations with potential Australian and international channel partners to take the product to market. “We can white label the whole solution for the channel so they can take it to their vertical as part of their unique offering.”

About Leash It

Leash It was founded in 2014 to offer Cycle Leash — bicycle tracking via Bluetooth — after one of the founders had his bicycle stolen from outside a café. The company quickly expanded to provide tracking for portable personal assets of all kinds, from pets to personal computers and in 2017 built on its success to launch LeashView, enabling organisations to track valuable assets around their facilities.

/Public Release.