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Companies develop systems for preventing heatstroke

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Fujitsu Ltd. and Obayashi Corp. have developed systems for monitoring heatstroke that they plan to introduce to construction sites starting this month. A worker walks at the construction site of the athlete’s village for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in Harumi in Tokyo.

TOKYO >> In Japan, major corporations have introduced systems utilizing artificial intelligence and information technology to prevent heatstroke among employees, including construction workers.

The systems prevent heatstroke by analyzing data on workers’ physical condition and the air temperature, among other data, and transmitting the results to workers and their supervisors.

Fujitsu Ltd. has developed a system integrating AI into wristwatch sensors. The sensor monitors a worker’s heart rate, number of steps and how much the person has worked, as well as the air temperature and humidity.

The data are then analyzed by AI. When the risk of heatstroke increases, the worker’s wristwatch vibrates, and a message is sent to the supervisor’s smartphone recommending the worker rest or drink water.

The AI calculates the risk of heatstroke based on data collected last summer from 27 men in their 20s to 40s, including their heart rate while working outdoors.

The risk of heatstroke is indicated through a four-stage scale.

Fujitsu introduced the system on a trial basis at the end of June, when it was used to monitor the condition of security guards at its Kawasaki factory.

The company plans to begin selling the system to construction firms and other companies at the end of this month. Plans are also underway to develop a version for elderly residents of nursing facilities.

Obayashi Corp., a major construction company, has developed a system that analyzes heart rate data sent from a sensor attached to workers’ underwear.

It will be introduced at about 20 construction sites across the country. Obayashi also plans to sell the system to other construction companies.

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