EMCC and MSU athletics team up to help with contact tracing

East Mississippi Community College's Communiversity and the athletic engineering program at Mississippi State are trying to help businesses tackle contact tracing.

Posted: Aug 4, 2020 5:49 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2020 9:25 AM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Contact tracing at a small business, with say, 10 or 12 employees, could be a daunting task. Even more so at a manufacturing plant where tens of thousands of people come and go every day. East Mississippi Community College's Communiversity and the athletic engineering program at Mississippi State are trying to help businesses tackle that problem with technology usually designed to measure the performance of a bulldog athlete.

Normally, Men's Basketball Strength and Conditioning Coach Collin Crane uses sports wearable technology to make sure his athletes are at their peak performance.

"We're using accelerometers, we're using heart rate technology, we're using timing gates, and we're doing our best to evolve with the technology," Crane said.

Evolving technology takes on a new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic. When Coach Crane's team tests players mobility normally they'd have the player lay on the table. That's when the trainers would examine the players by physically stretching them out. With the help of Xbox Kinect, they can map the athlete s entire body and diagnose the issue from a distance.

MSU athletic engineers gather all the data. Reuben Burch is the head of the athletic engineering program at MSU. He and his team of students are spearheading the effort to use sports wearable technology in the industrial setting, like at a factory or warehouse.

"When COVID hit you're either solving the virus or trying become as important as the virus," Burch said. "We started to branch out and work with the industrial athlete, because if we can solve it for the sports athlete, then we can solve it for the military athlete or the industrial athlete."

Burch and his team turned to the EMCC Communiversity in Columbus. The Communiversity specializes in placing students in manufacturing jobs. Burch, with the help of Communiversity President Dr. Courtney Taylor is applying for a scientific research grant to begin testing sports wearable technology in the industrial setting. Right now, contact tracing could take weeks and by that time it could be too late. Birch is confident that properly implementing wearables will shorten the time it takes to identify at-risk workers when a company has a positive case.

"We do need to know who they came into contact with, where they were physically," Burch said. "These wearables that we use at Mississippi State, they already do those things, so we can just re-purpose them and send them out."

Burch said that European companies are already using the wearable technology and Amazon is currently researching uses in their facilities in the U.S.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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