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Touchless Technology for a Healthy Workplace

Rimot Blog

The coronavirus crisis demands a rapid response to protect essential workers. RimotHEALTH’s new contactless entry-screening and attendance-tracking kiosk, featuring rf IDEAS® technology, will be improving workplace safety long after the current crisis has passed.

Even knowing how easily germs are spread, employers have historically looked the other way when workers show up with cold or flu symptoms. Many have even actively discouraged absenteeism due to illness. Thankfully, these attitudes have changed dramatically as a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses now almost universally acknowledge the benefits of workforce monitoring and management for employee satisfaction, customer goodwill and even company profitability. Especially for companies that employ essential workers, real-time data on individual risk factors and interpersonal contacts can help managers make agile decisions to help control on-site and community-wide spread of infectious diseases.

In industries ranging from manufacturing to government, healthcare, long-term care, food services, education, recreation, public safety and others, employers know they need to do a better job protecting people even from the common cold, let alone more serious and debilitating illnesses.

And they know they need help. Enter RimotHEALTH.

Applying IoT Technology to a New and Urgent Problem

Headquartered in Dartmouth, the “City of Lakes” community in Nova Scotia, Canada, Rimot was founded to apply Industrial Internet-of-Things technologies to the problem of remotely monitoring generators, wireless transmitters and other critical infrastructure.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Rimot realized a huge need—and a huge opportunity—to apply monitoring technology to workplaces where people are in close proximity to one another or where continuous operation of the physical workplace is critical. Rimot knew it could help employer minimize risk by providing employers a platform by which they could automate compliance with OH&S policy and public health directives designed to fight against Covid-19The solution was a new offering: RimotHEALTH.

RimotHEALTH provides a compact entry-screening and tracking kiosk that can be rapidly deployed at critical locations throughout a facility. The entire screening process is contactless. Employees interact with the kiosk using foot pedals and authenticate their presence at a particular location by simply waving their employee ID card over an integrated WAVE® ID reader.

A thermal camera then gauges facial temperature without requiring users to remove masks or protective eyewear and can be used to verify mask-wearing when required. After the temperature check, users tap the foot pedals to answer fully customizable questions regarding symptoms, contacts, recent travel and more.

The RimotHEALTH system uses a cellular link or Wi-Fi to enable monitoring for all locations, so the devices can quickly be deployed virtually anywhere with no need for an internet connection. Historical and real-time data are aggregated in an operations portal built on Rimot’s proven monitoring platform, enabling data analysis and automated alerts to support informed and rapid decision-making on both an organization-wide and location-by-location basis. Key OH&S, HR and operations managers can monitor the system and receive alerts on a computer, tablet or even a smartphone.

Rapid Development, With a Crucial Assist from rf IDEAS

The RimotHEALTH project was born of a need for people to stay safe. But it’s not just about health and productivity; it’s also about helping employees feel comfortable and confident in the working environment during a particularly worrisome time. To accomplish these goals, Rimot needed to create RimotHEALTH on an extremely rapid development schedule.

RimotHEALTH was ready for production by mid-summer, 2020, when suddenly a new requirement emerged. A number of prospective customers highlighted the need to be able to read employee ID cards to authenticate users prior to their health screening. What had been a future, nice-to-have feature suddenly became mandatory.

Rimot modified its production schedule and turned to rf IDEAS for help addressing the urgent need to read RFID cards.

The system, now incorporating WAVE ID credential readers (RDR-800W2AKU WAVE ID® Plus SDK V2 w/ iCLASS ID Surface Mount Black USB Reader) for simple employee identification and tracking, was ready for production in early fall 2020, a delay of only several weeks  thanks to the dedication of the rf IDEAS team to the cause.

“rf IDEAS has been essential to bringing RFID into our solution,” says Trevor Hennigar, Chief Operations Officer at Rimot. “As a company, Rimot had no prior need or experience for RFID before fast-tracking the development of RimotHEALTH. rf IDEAS was fantastic about quickly getting us up to speed and getting the technology quickly added to our platform.”

Hennigar adds, “They helped us integrate the RimotHEALTH system with the employee credentials our customers were already using and, in some cases, even resulted in our clients adopting RFID cards for their employees or entrants for the first time. And the support since has been top notch. They’re great people with solid expertise.”

Acadian Seaplants: Helping Refine the System and Proving its Worth

Acadian Seaplants was an early adopter of RimotHEALTH technology, agreeing to alpha-test the devices and provide the timely feedback needed to further evolve the product and bring it to market successfully.

Acadian manufacturers premium agricultural products cultivated sea-vegetables and functional ingredients derived from select species of nutrient-rich aquatic plants. The company employs 400 people worldwide, all dedicated to providing sustainable, nutritious solutions for plant, animal and human health.

With that healthy mission, it was only natural that the company wanted a simple solution to help keep its valued essential workers safe while ensuring business continuity. To that end, Acadian has now deployed 12 RimotHEALTH devices to its facilities in Canada, Ireland and Scotland.

“What sets RimotHEALTH apart is the technology that allows employers to manage COVID-19 related situations in real time with data that lives in the country where it's collected,” says Jean-Paul Deveau, president and chief executive officer of Acadian Seaplants.

“As a part of the global food chain, we stayed open during the first wave of COVID-19, and our employees tell us they feel safer at work than they do at home due to the protocols we put in place, including the utilization of RimotHEALTH's technology, which allows us to screen for certain COVID-19 risk indicators right at our front door.”

Rimot’s customer base continues to grow across industries, with more than 250,000 screenings performed and analyzed as of today, a number that continues to grow every day. “If we have helped prevent even just one outbreak in a critical facility,” says Trevor Hennigar, “then we have made an important impact.”

At rf IDEAS, we couldn’t agree more, and we’re proud to be making that impact. It’s just another part of our mission to deliver authentication, identification and logical access control solutions that make the world safer, more secure and more productive.

To learn more about our partner Rimot visit rimot.io.

And to explore our contactless attendance and personnel tracking solutions at rf IDEAS.com/attendancetracking.