(CMR) The Cayman Islands government is preparing to re-open its borders with an amended phased re-entry plan that will be relying on technology to make it a success.
The original bio-button that was being tested by Dr. John Lee, Medical Officer of Health has been abandoned for the disposable wearable iMSafe tracking bracelet. The idea is that by October 1 home isolation will be the norm instead of at a government facility.
This is the first time that wearing an electronic device will be deployed in health monitoring situations across the world. There have been privacy concerns as well as some questioning how effective they will be. Traditional electronic monitoring devices for punitive measures have proven to be rather successful. Criminals who know that they are being monitored will most likely comply. However, there have been numerous cases of local criminals creatively attempting to foil the technology.
In one famous case, In July 2010 an elderly George Town homeowner shot and killed wanna be burglar Harryton River (29) who was supposed to be at home being monitored by an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet. The case highlighted some admitted inefficiencies in the system and how easy the devices were to manipulate.
The wristband has a Bluetooth chip locator and QR code and is connected to the ‘IoT real-time monitoring and tracking’ system to monitor the movement and presence of the wearer. The device is activated once the wearer of the iMSafe wristband arrives at their quarantine location. The local government agency will be able to monitor and track those individuals allowed to return to the Cayman Islands under a Quarantine Order. The device must be attached to a smartphone app and was being deployed by some countries over 6 months ago. It does not use GPS tracking so a smartphone is a required component for it to work.
The iMSafe system has several features such as a dashboard that displays the names and identities of the wearer, reports, and status as well as an alert system. The bracelets resemble a waterproof hospital ID bracelet. Several countries have already used the bracelet including Hong Kong, Brunei. Hong Kong was the first to implement the usage of the devices back in February. They initially ordered around 65,000 units.
There are some practical questions about how the bracelet will work and CMR reached out to a reliable source who indicated returning residents who are permitted to self-quarantine will first be transported by the government in a controlled manner. Upon arrival at their pre-approved designation, they would be fixed with the iMSafe tracking bracelet which will then have the geofencing activated. Research appears to indicate that the bracelet is programmed at the location so that it learns the parameters of the quarantine house.
In June the Toronto Wolfpacks decided to become the first pro sports teams in the world “to embrace the use of wearable tracking products and services for staff and fans.”
Individuals returning to Cayman would be subjected to an inspection of their proposed dwelling and if there are others in the household they would also be issued the bracelet and remain in isolation. Government will be published a set of rules and guidelines for the trial. All participants will have to understand that no one will be permitted in the home and no one can go out of the home either.
The government will be setting up a project team to manage all aspects of the reentry including the device monitoring. The team will eventually become a functional government unit.
However, the location will be inspected by a public house trained individual who has a criteria list that will determine whether or not approval is granted. Some locations which are more high risk because of how they are constructed such as high-density single dwelling shared units are unlikely to get approval and those persons will still have to quarantine at a government-approved hotel.
Once at the location they will be geofenced in and monitored 24/7 and subject to random physical inspections to ensure they are in full compliance. To also encourage people not to be tempted to breach any of the provisions they have agreed to they can expect to face increased penalties including a proposed $10,000 fine and jail time.
There is no data readily available on how well these devices have worked thus far.
iMSafe disposable wristbands are part of a suite of TRACEsafe pandemic management solutions and are being used as part of a self-quarantine monitoring system. iMSafe electronic wristbands enable individuals to isolate in their own homes while ensuring that public health mandates are being followed. An administrator assigns every visitor or returning citizen an electronic wristband upon their arrival. The user will then be instructed to download the iMSafe app or use a preinstalled app to scan the unique QR code attached to their wristband.
Once the user scans the QR code, the wristband pairs with their smartphone and uses GPS capabilities to offer continuous location monitoring. The wristband logs location and time stamps to an application in the cloud and issues notifications and alerts when necessary. Both the user and government administrators can actively monitor location and time logs by accessing the corresponding app.
Administrators can be notified in the event a quarantine order is breached or a user requires medical assistance. In order to ensure that quarantine measures are effective, the iMSafe wristband is designed to prevent tampering, and will issue an alert to both the user and government administrators if a device is compromised in any way. BLE protocols integrate easily with cellular devices, offering consistent, high-quality performance and low energy consumption, prolonging battery life to ensure that individuals under quarantine stay connected for longer. By integrating with cloud applications, iMSafe wristbands help users manage their location via a smartphone interface, though, in an effort to protect users’ privacy, the devices do not collect personal data.
Blockchain Holdings Ltd. (“Blockchain”), a publically traded Canadian company listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange (BCX) announced on March 13, 2020 that it would be acquiring the rights and interests of the self-quarantine monitoring technology suite known collectively as iMSafe from WiSilica, Inc.
.A two-week quarantine has become a global protocol for individuals