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Expo 2020 Dubai uses wearables to improve safety standards of construction workers

(Image credit: Expo 2020 Dubai)

Expo 2020 Dubai is creating a roadmap for future construction projects and mega-events in a bid to lift safety standards of workers by using wearable technology.

The technology used in the programme was developed by Expo 2020 in collaboration with American fitness tech company Whoop.

The wellness wearable - Whoop Straps - have been adapted to the needs of construction workers with a bespoke charging and syncing system devised to collect data daily during their lunch breaks, and printed reports provided to all participants in multiple languages.

A second phase will begin in 2021 to monitor the health and well-being of workers during the six months of Expo 2020, which runs from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022.

The first phase of the programme ran for 30 months from October 2017 and has collected more than 13 terabytes of data and over 39b individual data points from 5,540 workers to measure workers’ health and well-being using the latest technology.

 “The data gathered will form part of the legacy that Expo 2020 leaves the world, taking us one step closer to predictive models that can save lives,” Rashid Mohammed, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Expo 2020, said in a statement.

The data collected is forming the basis for research by recognised academics from the University of Sharjah and focuses on cardiovascular health and sleep disorders.

The Whoop devices collected data measurements split into three categories: effort, sleep and recovery. Factors such as heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep auto-detection were collated, with custom reports then built to show workers their data in a weekly summary. During the course of the programme, 153,785 worker progress reports were issued to participants.

Will Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Whoop, said, that construction is one of the biggest sectors in the world, yet from a health monitoring standpoint, these sites are being developed in the same way as 200 years ago.

“By using our technology, we can understand what it will take to prevent injuries and to make a workforce healthier. All of this will lead to a better and safer working environment for construction workers from around the world,” he said. 

Through this programme, Toufik Refki, Director for Worker Wellness Programme at Expo 2020 Dubai, said that they were able to shed more light on the health habits, routines and needs of construction workers and help create a safer workplace for them.