Contact Harald is a contact tracing technology – its name pays homage to the Bluetooth technology at its core. The idea is simple: a contact tracing card and platform that disrupts traditional methods of contact tracing.
In contrast to manual, app-based or QR code-based tracing, Contact Harald is a wearable, bluetooth enabled card and contact tracing platform underpinned by proximity tracing technology (not GPS or geolocation driven tracking). It works within closed environments such as hotel quarantine, aged care, manufacturing, construction and education settings as well as at scale in open-air operations such as mining sites, sporting events and public festivals.
Contact Harald is an affordable, effective and easy to use platform. If a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or another communicable disease is declared, authorised staff access the log to notify any potentially affected people to isolate and be treated.
In short, Contact Harald has transformed the way contact tracing can be done. Contact Harald is a digital, single source of truth for organisations to meet their duty of care obligation to staff, residents, students, visitors in a fast, effective, privacy preserving manner.
In the UK, it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain records (for 21 days) of workers, customers, and visitors to site. Contact Harald is an adjunct tool to the NHS’ Test & Trace app. If the need arises, the proximity data stored on the secure Contact Harald database can be readily provided to the NHS Test & Trace initiative for wider contact tracing efforts.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
My business partner and I came up with the idea at the start of the pandemic in response to discussion with a number of businesses, concerned about the challenges they were facing. It became clear that it was not sustainable for companies to completely shut down operations for every suspected COVID case – however, there is an obligation for organisations to provide their staff with a safe working/ learning environment in a COVID-19 world.
While other market options utilise Bluetooth technology and purport privacy protections, their required use of a smartphone app supersedes any actual ability to maintain user privacy with total confidence. Contact Harald avoids these concerns, and supports work environments where the carrying of a device is not possible.
Where the conditions are such that staff, students, contractors and/or visitors cannot maintain, or it is difficult to monitor maintaining physical distancing at scale, a contact tracing system like Contact Harald can be deployed as a stand alone strategy or as part of a wider infection management plan.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
Since our launch in Australia last year, we have worked with numerous businesses, organisations and governments to help them overcome the operational challenges inherent to a lack of adequate tracing solutions. Contact Harald is now in 540 companies worldwide, ranging from America, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand and Europe. With over 2,800,000 cards sold so far, we expect to see continued growth as variants continue to arise.
We are already in development with future capabilities of the technology beyond COVID. The most immediate, and market-ready, is our Contact Harald Access Card, combining the contact tracing technology with existing site access systems within businesses.