Cotton On partners with Elenium Automation

Melbourne, Victoria – Monday 10 May 2021. One of Australia’s largest global retailers, Cotton On Group, is deploying HealthGate, a new ARTG listed fever detection kiosk designed and developed in Victoria by Elenium Automation to increase safety, provide peace of mind and reduce the risk of spreading illness.

HealthGate offers Cotton On Group automated and highly accurate health screening for entry into its national distribution centre in Avalon, Victoria, to protect its people and operations. The technology allows Cotton On to continue to create a safe workplace environment during a pandemic and beyond.

HealthGate kiosks have been operating at Cotton On Group’s 35,000sqm distribution centre since the start of 2021.  Elenium Automation worked closely with Cotton On to make the device suitable for high-speed, highly efficient operation, building on the ideas in how to increase the throughput of the device.

“During the height of the pandemic, we were looking for health screening technology that would allow us to continue to protect our people and operations. HealthGate is a great solution for our national distribution centre at Avalon, Victoria where we have 300 to 400 team members coming through each day,” said Michael Hardwick, Cotton On Group’s Chief Financial Officer.

The system uses a proprietary multi-spectrum sensor array, which leverages artificial intelligence to detect the appropriate region of interest on a user’s face and accurately measure if they have a fever. It also incorporates health declaration technology prior to arrival at a facility.

“One of the critical differences between HealthGate and other devices is the sophistication of our sensors. Thermometers that are relied upon in the market simply measure a person’s skin temperature at their forehead, which only tells you the temperature of that single spot, not whether they have a fever,” said Elenium Automation CEO, Aaron Hornlimann.

“HealthGate takes accurate readings of specific areas on a person’s face like the inner canthi or the tear duct, where the blood vessels are near the surface of their skin.” he said.

It detects a potential fever in under two seconds and eliminates the potential for human error in administrating the health screening process.

During the Cotton On trial, all team members and visitors must pass HealthGate’s screening in order to gain access to the distribution centre. Team members and visitors are required to answer health screening questions either before they arrive on-site or when they undergo the health screening.

If their self-declaration indicates they are not likely to be ill, the system generates a QR code – essential for contact tracing, scanned by employees from the HealthGate screen, while checking their temperatures. If their temperature is within an acceptable limit, the kiosks grant 24-hour access and print out a pass that can be applied to their uniform.

Rather than requiring people to make contact with common surfaces like touchscreens or buttons, HealthGate is entirely touchless through a virtual touchscreen technology, ensuring a safe and hygienic experience.

The information from HealthGate can also be integrated into a company access control system. This ensures team members are checked daily – and that if they do fall ill between shifts, they will be prompted to take action. The cutting-edge technology also helps to change behaviours in the workplace and to mitigate the risk for all staff.

A recent consumer survey of 1000 Australians commissioned by Elenium Automation1 revealed that 88 per cent of people are more likely to be honest about whether or not they feel unwell if they know they will undergo a health screening before being allowed entry to an event.

The survey also showed the vast majority – 83 per cent of Australians support the use of such new health screening technology to help mitigate the risk for themselves and their loved ones.

“By combining the health declaration with fever detection technology, HealthGate will influence and drive behavioural change. It will prevent someone who is feeling unwell from coming to work knowing that they will be screened on arrival,” Mr Hornlimann said.

Following months of vigorous testing, HealthGate is now listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) as a medical device manufacturer.

“HealthGate has already saved us considerable time, but it has also given us and our team great peace of mind, which is priceless,” said Barnaby Gray, Cotton On Group’s Head of Central Operations. “We know that anyone within the facility has been checked – and, most importantly, safe – and it’s all been done without being invasive or time consuming.”

“HealthGate was created and built entirely here in Australia, so it’s particularly fitting to help such an iconic Australian brand with our technology,” said Mr Hornlimann.

He adds that the company has been in talks with a number of major corporates across a myriad of industries about how safety technology such as HealthGate can be implemented on a longer-term basis especially for office buildings and distributions centres.

They’re interested in a proactive approach and are seeking technology that doesn’t just detect potential symptoms of a fever, but also helps them to manage their health in a way that protects and reassures them and those around them.

“Our solution is not just about now and the global pandemic. It’s all about making sure people feel confident and safe moving into the future. When there is a bad flu season like in 2019 when the annual flu season took 300,000 out of the workforce, we want to ensure we are proactive and we don’t have the same impact we felt during COVID-19,” Mr Hornlimann said.

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