Contact tracing is a powerful tool for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic. Front-line healthcare workers are particularly at high risk of infection in hospital units. This paper presents ContAct TraCing for Hospitals (CATCH), an automated contact tracing system designed specifically for healthcare workers in hospital environments. CATCH employs distributed embedded devices placed throughout a hospital unit to detect close contacts among healthcare workers wearing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. We first identify a set of distinct contact tracing scenarios based on the diverse environmental characteristics of a real-world intensive care unit (ICU) and the different working patterns of healthcare workers in different spaces within the unit. We then develop a suite of novel contact tracing methods tailored for each scenario. CATCH has been deployed and evaluated in the ICU of a major medical center, demonstrating superior accuracy in contact tracing over existing approaches through a wide range of experiments. Furthermore, the real-world case study highlights the effectiveness and efficiency of CATCH compared to standard contact tracing practices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3610924
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 27 2023


  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Contact Tracing
  • Covid-19
  • Internet of things (IoT)


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