Viziblezone app Identify contacts with COVID-19 Patients

Above: Verint’s offices in Israel and the new app. Verint will both employ and distribute the solution to its customers

Against the backdrop of an ongoing public debate regarding the use of the ISA’s (Shin Bet) cellular tracking technology for pinpointing contacts with COVID-19 carriers, the Israeli startup Viziblezone has launched a dedicated solution that allows organizations to track all of the employees who came into contact with an employee diagnosed with COVID-19, without invading their privacy.

The company announced first collaboration with the Israeli cyber and intelligence Verint, which employs thousands of employees worldwide. Verint will implement the solution on its premises, and distribute it to its customers. Viziblezone is also in talks with other organizations in Israel and abroad concerning the adoption of its new app.

The Data is kept in the Smartphone

Viziblezone’s solution is based on the smartphone’s Bluetooth: Whenever it receives a radio signal from a nearby smartphone, it it assigns the “encounter” with a random identification number and encrypts the data in a contact log file stored on the device. Thus, the smartphone of each employee records all of the contacts between them, each on their own device, without the information being transferred to an external server.

In the event that a person in the organization is diagnosed with COVID-19, he informs the person in charge of COVID-19 on behalf of the organization and receives a single-use code that allows him to send his contact log file to all of the devices in the organization, via the local server. The rest of the devices cross-check with the personal contact log stored within them, to see if there is a documentation of encounter. When a match is detected, the employee is alerted that he has been exposed to a COVID-19 patient.

Maintaining Business Continuity

The algorithm calculates how long the encounter lasted and what was the estimated distance between the workers, and thus determine if the encounter exceeded the social distancing rules. This clever concept does not involve penetrating a device or gaining access to irrelevant private information.

Founder and CEO Gabi Ofir, told Techtime that the app is designed for the workplace. “The solution is not intended for the public space, but for companies and organizations that employ a considerable amount of employees. It can prevent a situations in which a diagnosis of a COVID-19 patient would lead to sending all of the employees off to quarantine.”

From Automotive to Healthcare

Viziblezone was founded in early 2019 by Gabi Ofir, former system architect at Motorola, to develop life-saving smartphone-based software solutions for the roads. When the system detects a potentially life-threatening situation, such as a pedestrian, cyclist or scooter rider crossing a road, the user’s smartphone transmit warning signals to nearby cars concerning a potential for collision.

Ofir: “In the face of The COVID-19 we had to make a decision on whether to furlough our employees or to somehow adapt our technology to the situation. Thus we decided to utilize our technology to provide monitoring contacts solution that can help with business continuity. We had to overcome critical technological challenges: maximum power saving, processing the Bluetooth signals, neutralizing interference from other signals and more. The result: we achieved 99% accuracy rate in tracing the contacts for a period of two weeks back.”



Tags:, Gabi Ofir, Verint

SuperCom to Provide Electronic Handcuffs for Middle East Countries

The Tel Aviv based SuperCom revealed last week that it had sent its electronic ankle bracelets to two Middle Eastern countries for a pilot program to examine these measures concerning tracking COVID-19 patients who stay in home quarantine. Following the announcement, SuperCom’s shares in NASDAQ rose by 10%. The company provides IDs and biometric passports, RFID-based identification tags for the fields of retail and medical, and electronic surveillance solutions for parolees and other populations who are under observation, such as people with dementia who might get lost.

Recently it launched a solution tailored for the monitoring of COVID-19 patients in quarantine. The customized solution called PureCare is not fundamentally different from the handcuff designed for parolees, but is branded differently; it’s colored white and comes with a user-friendly app. It is  a thin, lightweight bracelet worn on the ankle beneath the sock and does not interfere with the patient’s daily routine and is not visible to the environment.

The bracelet communicates with the smartphone via short-range Bluetooth communication. The smartphone’s GPS transmitter is used to accurately identify the location of the person under observation, therefore it is impossible to exit the location without the smartphone, in order to mislead the surveillance system. Several countries have already begun experimenting with the use of electronic handcuffs to monitor COVID-19 patients. The South Korean government places electronic handcuffs on COVID-19 patients who violated their quarantine. In the State of Kentucky, US, the court authorized the application of a similar policy, and Hong Kong decided to attach an electronic handcuff to every incoming tourist to make sure they obey the mandatory 14 days quarantine.

Increasing Production

During the past month, SuperCom has also reported a number of significant deals for the supply of electronic handcuffs for former inmates. The reason: many countries in Europe, North America, and other regions have decided to execute mass early prison releases in order to reduce overcrowding and prevent an outbreak of the plague behind prison walls. This led to a pressing demand for electronic handcuffs.

Last week Supercom announced a new 5-year contract with the national government of Latvia to deploy its enhanced PureSecurity Electronic Monitoring (EM) Suite, including both RF House Arrest and GPS tracking. The nationwide program with the Ministry of Justice is set to cover all cases nationwide requiring electronic monitoring of offenders using both RF House Arrest and GPS Tracking solutions.

The company’s CEO, Arie Trabelsi, said the company is preparing for a spike in demand. “The quantities in question, supplied simultaneously to several countries, are unlike anything we’ve ever encountered. We are making an effort to increase our production output to meet the demand.” The company manufactures its products in Israel.