Australian MedTech innovation goes global

October 27, 2021

Australian technology innovator Canaria Technologies has partnered with Rio Tinto globally to roll out its ground-breaking predictive biometric technology as part of an international pilot program.

Image: Canaria Technologies Managing Director Theodora Le Souquet and Head of Marketing Sharon Dargaville wearing the earpiece.

The Canaria-V Earpiece — a medical-grade, wearable MedTech device — is set to transform the way people and companies work through real-time health management, saving lives and increasing productivity by predicting serious medical incidents in users before they happen.

In Australia alone, cognitive fatigue currently accounts for two thirds of all industrial accidents and costs the country $61.8 billion in safety-related work injuries. The earpiece works to counteract these risks by using a proprietary, real-time predictive biometric algorithm to measure a series of internal and external variables, alerting both the individual and supervisors to any cognitive fatigue and heat stress-driven risks before they happen, preventing potentially fatal on-site incidents.

Embley Contracting, a Weipa based 100% Aboriginal owned and operated major local mining contractor has partnered with Canaria Technologies to roll out the Canaria-V Earpiece as part of this world-first pilot program at Rio Tinto’s operations in Western Cape York, Far North Queensland this month, with the technology worn by technicians, process plant operators and coach drivers in extreme heat conditions across a five-day period.

Canaria Technologies Managing Director Theodora Le Souquet said the partnership with Embley Contracting was a significant step in the right direction to revolutionising workplace health and safety mandates in the mining industry, and beyond.

“Our partnership with Embley Contracting will assist Canaria Technologies in becoming a recognised leader in predictive biometrics on the global stage, pioneering the next generation of industrial safety and positioning us for international growth with some of world’s largest mining companies,” she said.

“The Canaria-V Earpiece software allows for the constant evolution of protocols and safety management to set a new standard in workplace health and safety mandates which have not seen substantial progression in decades.

“The success of this pilot program in Weipa, as well as a previous project undertaken at Rio Tinto’s joint venture Resolution Copper Mine in Arizona earlier this year, has positioned Canaria Technologies at the forefront of workplace health and safety innovation” she said.

The pilot program included the deployment of prototype predictive biometric devices across underground mine sites to capture data for use in the prediction of heat stress, man down and cognitive fatigue scenarios throughout ordinary rostered shifts.

How it works

The Canaria-V Earpiece works by using a proprietary, real-time predictive biometric algorithm to measure skin temperature, movement, volumetric variations of blood circulation and environmental data, alerting the individual to any cognitive fatigue and heat stress-driven risks before they happen, preventing potentially fatal on-site incidents.

“Our overarching objective is to improve safety for those on the ground while reducing on-site incident frequency, and associated insurance and asset damage costs, as well as optimising incident recovery time for workers affected by heat stress and cognitive fatigue to improve site productivity,” Le Souquet said.
The recent pilot program has also marked a significant move in spearheading Australia’s world-leading predictive biometrics while maintaining onshore design, engineering and manufacturing of the devices, contributing to Australia’s tech-driven economy.

Canaria Technologies’ Australian-designed wearable device will be manufactured onshore by Queensland-based advanced electronic manufacturer Elexon Electronics, which has a track-record in the development of advanced digital technology across the mining, medical, aerospace and defence industries.

Elexon Electronics CEO Frank Faller said the company was excited to empower Canaria Technologies’ talented team of engineers and designers to revolutionise the industry, and put Australia on the map for biometrics technology with the Canaria-V Earpiece.

“Elexon Electronics is a trusted engineering and manufacturing partner to many global companies in the mining, MedTech and defence sector,” he said.

“In the 15 years of operation, we have developed an extensive IP in the area of communication and monitoring
systems for harsh environments, and Canaria’s wearable sensors complement our unique product range.

“Collaboration with start-ups is one of our core beliefs and we are excited about being able to support Canaria by offering our expertise and state-of-the-art electronics manufacturing equipment,” he said.

Canaria Technologies is a market-leader in predictive biometric systems, providing non-invasive medical-grade
wearable devices powered by proprietary biometric algorithms to predict and prevent cognitive fatigue and heat stress.

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