Border workers will be told if they might be getting sick several days before symptoms with a new app being trialed by the Ministry of Health.
The app, ëlarm, connects to wearable smart devices such as Fitbit, Apple Watch and other smart watches or fitness trackers.
"If the ëlarm app lives up to its potential, it might provide early notification to our critical border workforce if they're becoming unwell," said Shayne Hunter, the Health Ministry's deputy director general of data and digital.
"That means they can take appropriate action such as self-isolating and being tested for Covid-19."
The app establishes a personalised health baseline for each user, based on their wearable data history, and then uses AI technology to detect physiological changes that might indicate the user is getting sick before they experience symptoms.
Datamine, the New Zealand company which developed the ëlarm app, will provide wearable devices for border workers who do not have a Fitbit or smartwatch.
Act Party leader David Seymour welcomed the trial, but having pushed for it since June last year, he said the Government has been too timid with technology.
"It shouldn't have taken 10 months for the Government to take the idea seriously. It needs to be much more aggressive at trying new technologies.
"Datamine, based in the Epsom electorate, has so far had more luck with private companies offshore than the Ministry of Health.
"I have personally used the app. It monitors a person's heart rate and reports any signs that they may have taken on a virus. The app could be critical in building New Zealand's collective defence against the epidemic."
Hunter said the safety of border workers was critical.
"We want to really support this essential work by giving people good tools to monitor their own health to keep themselves, their whānau and all of New Zealand safe and healthy."
Up to 500 border workers can volunteer to take part in the month-long trial, which runs until early May.
The safety of the border controls has been questioned following the security guard at the Grand Millennium who tested positive last week, but who hadn't been tested before that for five months.
Yesterday Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said there were about 60 MIQ workers who weren't being regularly tested within or close to the required timeframes.
He said this posed a "very low" risk, but National Party Covid response spokesman Chris Bishop said Hipkins was missing the point.
"As we've seen and as the evidence shows, all it takes is one person to slip through and you can have an outbreak on your hands - and a lockdown costing hundreds of millions of dollars."