A small, wearable musculoskeletal monitor that alerts wearers to dangerous motions has been designed to help reduce workplace injuries.
Designed specifically for industrial workers, the SoterSpine wearable and app by Soter Analytics tracks a wearer’s actions to provide suggestions for reducing the risk of back injury. In a trial at one of the country’s leading mining operations, the Perth, the Australia-based information technology company found that the risk of back injury to team members was reduced by up to 70 percent.
The small device clips onto clothing and is designed to be worn continuously, whatever the conditions, and is heat and water proof. If an at-risk movement is detected, the device will alert the wearer. The connected devices combine machine learning with artificial intelligence to provide individual recommendations for improvements to each worker and broader insights for a business. With workplace musculoskeletal injuries costing AUD 140 billion a year, a company using the devices could save up to AUD 7,000 per employee per year in reduced numbers of sick days taken and healthcare costs.
Hazardous working and living conditions are difficult to monitor due to the transient nature of certain types of danger, which is where and how technology is making a difference. A portable health tracker that logs worker exposure to hazards and provides immediate alerts when safe levels are exceeded is particularly useful for construction teams. For people who may be more vulnerable when at home alone, a new smart shoe can sense when a wearer has fallen and call for emergency assistance. How could a wearable also help incorporate wellness into the working day of industrial workers?