COVID-19 spurs innovation at HandsOn Systems

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With the global COVID-19 pandemic impacting some of HandsOn Systems’ product lines, Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Farrugia and his team have launched COVID-Tech, a range of solutions to enable the company to diversify in its effort to continue to grow and expand.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, three main areas have been the focus of technology companies since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A quarter of solutions are around detection and containment; one fifth tackle issues of healthcare provider enablement; and a further 21% grappled with economic resilience.

Here in Malta, HandsOn Systems have made the most of this compelling event, which its CEO Geoffrey Farrugia believes is useful in life and in business, to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions both locally and globally in the markets where it is active.

In the area of prevention/detection of the virus, Mr Farrugia said HandsOn Systems is now offering fever detection cameras, alongside temperature guns, to help businesses detect people with possible symptoms of the virus. “Even though some people with no fever are still carrying the virus, statistically, 60% will have fever. So, it helps businesses to automate the process and save a lot of money in the process,” he observed.

Another product line is disinfection diffusers and dispensers. These machines can be left on during the night to automatically diffuse a disinfecting solution across a given area – the bigger the machine, the bigger the area that can be disinfected automatically.

HandsOn Systems offers solutions covering 150 m2 or 50 m2 or less. “Given that we are in the transport industry, such a machine is also ideal for the disinfection of people-carrying vehicles,” he pointed out.

A third key area is contact tracing for businesses. “If you have a factory that employs some 400 people, having even one person testing positive can have catastrophic results with the entire cohort having to self-isolate, leading to lay-offs or a four-day week,” he said.

The solution is a wearable using Bluetooth and ultra-wide band technology – a wrist band incorporating a Bluetooth beacon to not only enable contract tracing but also to give the wearer a social distance alert in the form of a beep or a vibration (or both) if that person is too close to someone.

“Many technology advancements were spurred in wartime. We are living in a different kind of war. It is an invisible war. So, we are looking internally and saying, ‘What can we do to fight back through innovation?’

“This requires a different kind of weapon. The kind of weapon that we need is, first and foremost, education. However, technology can play an important part in this and our COVID-Tech line can also contribute,” he said.