SPACER – The Social Distancing App

Background

Around the world, frontline healthcare staff are working hard to help patients with COVID19 but global data has shown that they are at increased risk of SARS-COV2 infection due to their occupational environment. The Irish SAOLTA Healthcare group (Health Service Executive – HSE Ireland) have collaborated with researchers at NUI Galway’s Health Innovation via Engineering (HIVE) Lab, led by Professor Derek O’Keeffe, Professor of Medical Device Technology at NUI Galway and Consultant Physician University Hospital Galway to develop and deploy a new smartphone app to help with social distancing.

‘SPACER – The Social Distancing App’ aims to reduce the problem of person to person spacing by harnessing ubiquitous smartphone technology and a novel algorithm which uses the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol, to alert hospital staff if they are less than 2m from each other via a vibration alarm. The system is currently being evaluated at Galway University Hospital and will thereafter be available for the general public.

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