Emtec, a member of the SETsquared Exeter Business Foundations Programme, has been awarded a development grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. The grant, part of the Business-led innovation in response to global disruption challenge, was awarded to help Emtec’s de-centralised contact tracking project.
Executive Chair, Innovate UK, Dr Ian Campbell, said: “Businesses from all over the UK have answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation. The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.”
In collaboration with a medical team at the University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, Memphis, Tennessee, EMTEC is developing a contact proximity tracking application which can be used by hospitals and other organisations to manage the impact of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
The EMTEC software development team has extensive experience of vehicle tracking using GNSS location data and Bluetooth and will be able to deploy people tracking technology onto its existing platform using apps installed on mobile phones.
The project team is developing analysis methods that can identify users, localise them based on triangulation with the aid of Wifi signals inside buildings and then applying machine learning methods to build a true contact graph with probabilities. For example, not only staff in contact with COVID-19 patients will be high risk but also the people that interact with them. The immediate goal of the contact tracking is to be able to trace back all high-risk contacts when a new infection is determined and implement targeted testing. Contact tracking is a critical technology to manage staff levels and keep hospitals and other companies operational while managing risk.
Joe Pearce, Head of SETsquared Exeter commented:
“Emtec have done brilliantly to secure the grant funding which will allow them to pivot their business model. More of this sort of financial support should be made available to support innovative and growing businesses.”