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: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
Lowndes5186106
Lafayette482792
Lamar471162
Washington4700122
Bolivar3915105
Oktibbeha384279
Panola357274
Pontotoc356552
Monroe3463101
Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
Pearl River313891
Leflore2969104
Lincoln290185
Sunflower275868
Tate264759
Alcorn257850
Itawamba257058
Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
Copiah235649
Yazoo235054
Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
Coahoma219054
Grenada213970
Covington207171
Marion203371
Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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