Employee Tracking using AI/IoT
Geodis, Fujitsu and Amey are three companies that track employees' health state using AI/IoT technologies.
- StrongArm is a safety science company. The company has partnered with several companies such as Walmart, Heineken and Toyota to provide their warehouse and factory workers with chest-strapped devices that vibrate when workers make sudden, unhealthy movements. Geodis, a logistics company, is among the users of these devices.
- In Geodis, these devices are used as part of a testing phase. The devices gather workers' health information and send it to the company.
- Although the devices increase the levels of workers' safety, they are controversial, as the companies can exploit workers' fragile information and use it against them.
- In 2017, Fujitsu developed an AI algorithm that analyzes workers' heat stress levels, which it tested with security guards at one of its plants.
- Fujitsu performed this testing with the purpose of enhancing its on-site safety management IoT solution.
- The solution came in form of a wrist-band and measured outside temperature, worker's pulse and the amount of worker's activity, among other factors.
- This is a consulting and infrastructure support company from the UK.
- This company developed a specially-designed t-shirt which captured worker's heart rate, respiration, posture, pace and level of stress to analyze their health and stress levels over a number of days.
- This solution enabled the company to identify the factors that cause high levels of stress among workers, such as reversing a vehicle and being stuck in traffic.
We were not able to identify additional case studies of manufacturing firms that are tracking employees' health using AI or IoT. Our search suggests this concept is still relatively new and mostly talked about as something that still has to take place. We included examples of a logistics company, an IT company and an infrastructure company as helpful findings. Before doing that, we attempted to locate relevant information in the following ways:
We explored industry-specific publications such as Safety+Health and Industry Week, where we hoped to find reports on manufacturing companies that have started using or experimenting with AI and IoT solutions that monitor workers' health. What we found this way were countless reports on the development of such solutions by IT companies, but detailed examples of companies that are using these solutions were harder to find. We found that StrongArm's monitor device was used by companies such as Heineken and Toyota, but further search determined these companies are still considering the solutions. Apart from the previously identified company, no additional manufacturing companies that use these solutions could be located.
We looked into websites of companies that provide health monitoring solutions, such as chest straps and wrist devices, where we aimed to find case studies of manufacturing companies that are using the solutions. We were confident this would give us the desired results because highlighting notable clients usually helps providers achieve better sales. We looked into various wearable technology providers such as IBM and Fitbit, as well as workplace IoT providers such as Behr Technology, but most of them only described the solutions they offer, without bringing attention to any notable clients. Some companies noted they are still in the processes of developing these solutions, while others only provided clients' brand names, without mentioning how the clients use their services or which services they use.
We also examined websites of leading global companies in the automotive, apparel, electronic equipment manufacturing industries, among other manufacturing industries, in order to locate press releases from companies that announce partnerships with AI/IoT solution providers with purposes of achieving greater health standards for factory workers. The reason we went through the key players in these industries was because we assumed the leading, most reputable companies were most likely to implement these solutions. Even though we found reports on companies' health monitoring product launches, we were unable to find press releases that announce the companies are integrating AI or IoT health monitoring solutions in their manufacturing process. As an example, Samsung announced a health monitoring product line intended for government and enterprise workers, but hasn't announced any plans to implement these solutions in its manufacturing facilities.