PouchNATION has launched PouchPASS, a temperature-taking device, marking its first foray into the health industry. The Singaporean-based company develops solutions for the events industry, such as NFC-based systems, RFID enabled cashless payments, geolocation, ticketing, and POS development.
Complemented by a PouchBAND, the nifty wristband measures the body temperature using a clinical-grade thermostat. It’s waterproof and dust-resistant, and can be worn even in the shower. The PouchBAND is powered by a lithium coin battery, which lasts through months of uninterrupted use.
PouchBAND Plus comes with an RFID microchip that integrates NFC. That includes access control, attendance records, and cashless payments on the device. Data collected from the PouchBAND is synced onto the PouchPASS application so the user can view the data on a dashboard on the mobile or PC.
On the PouchPASS application, users can also journal health symptoms and receive fever alert notifications. PouchPASS contains location-tracking software, enabled only via user permissions. Gateway solutions, which record PouchPASS data, are available for spaces such as school, offices, and factories.
Shifting from events solutions to health tech
PouchPASS was released just six months into the pandemic.
A market leader in wearable technologies, PouchNATION reapplied its philosophy towards events for COVID-19, the “largest event of our lifetime,” says Ilya Kravtsov, PouchNATION’s CEO.
The events solution provider created NFC-based systems to manage pain points during events. PouchNATION was able to rapidly adapt their existing tech to suit the demands of a pandemic-ridden economy.
The second version of PouchPASS is slated for release later this year.
User permissions and data protection
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed massive restrictions on the freedom of movement. Most public spaces require time-intensive temperature and identification checks to track the movement of infected persons.
To cut down on manpower costs, businesses can use PouchPASS to automate attendance and access authorizations, make contactless purchases, and monitor those under mandatory quarantine. In addition, the temperature tracking features can be used to assist with government-led contact tracing.
However, initial attempts to implement tracking solutions have been met with resistance. Concerns have been raised over infringement on privacy rights, particularly when data is collected by state entities.
To assuage fears, PouchPASS has assured its users that their data will never be collected without user permission. Data collected via PouchPASS are stored on a secure cloud-based system. Users have full transparency and control over information shared, and the settings can be changed at any time.
Appealing to user convenience
PouchPASS is being released at a period where major organisations like Google are racing to develop health tech for infection-tracking purposes. However, technology specifically aimed at tracking the movement of entire populations has been largely ineffectual due to the low take-up rate.
But PouchPASS may be more effective than larger organizations at appealing to users since it appeals to individuals and organizations. Individual users can monitor each other’s temperatures, including parents who wish to check on their child.
Corporates can increase productivity, cut labor costs, and improve workplace safety via continuous temperature monitoring and collection.
For government entities, PouchPASS’s gateway solutions allow data to be collected from PouchPass wearers. According to Lim, the “anonymity of wristband identities is adhered to, until urgent contact tracing protocols are required.”
Will PouchPASS become the next big thing?
Part of PouchPASS’s appeal is that it is currently a voluntary private purchase, not a mandatory technology dictated by the state.
If it can deliver on its promises, the benefits of tracking technologies like PouchPASS may outweigh the potential cost of privacy for some users. However, concerns about data leaks and misuse will continue to dog tracking technology.
Moreover, beyond being a temperature-taking device, it offers plenty of other features like contactless payments which Singapore and other cashless nations will appreciate.
At the end of the day, watching people don multi-coloured PouchBANDs around may become commonplace as the pandemic wears on. After all, there’s more than enough space in the industry for PouchPASS.
This article was first published by Vulcan Post.