Businesses are getting creative to keep both their employees and customer as safe as possible during this pandemic. Not surprisingly, experts are saying technology will play a huge role in the future of protection against COVID-19. Companies across all boards are adapting to new technologies as they roll out new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure safety/sanitation is a top priority. [i]
One large example of how technology will play a role in stopping the spread of COVID is through Apple’s newest iOS update. [ii] This update includes a Bluetooth wireless technology to detect when someone who downloaded the app has spent time near another app user who later tests positive for the virus. [ii] By Apple partnering with Google, it is easier for iPhone and Android phones to detect each other (which in the past has been a pain point for both iPhone and Android users, as they work across national and regional borders. This update will (attempt to) slow the spread of COVID-19 with an “exposure notification” to users about virus carriers that may not quite yet be showing symptoms. [ii] The start of this partnership began in early May and has been a work in progress in the last few months. Results are being recorded and effectiveness is being tracked as the app gains more exposure.
“User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps,” the companies said in a joint statement Wednesday. [ii]
Leaders in communities across the country are encouraging others to leverage smartphone technologies to strengthen existing contact tracing efforts. [ii]
Another example of leveraging the use of technology during the pandemic is Apple’s new feature on the Apple Watches tracking TikTok dances as a “workout” when gyms were closed. [iii] Apple Watches also now have a new handwashing feature tracking how long you’re washing your hands, encouraging more/less time with a little bit of “coaching” along the way to help stop the spread of germs. [iii]
Many of the technologies needed to combat COVID-19 in work environments are already being used in a general sense, but now they are specifically geared towards contact prevention and safety standards in the workplace. For example, there is a software that can digitally map out work zones to warn workers when they are in danger of violating social distancing rules and regulations being used in large warehouses. [iv] Another example is for trucking companies loading and unloading products for shipment. A company in Glen Rock, NJ uses an app from e4score called EZCheck-In which is designed to manage this specific issue: how can workers load and unload products with as little interaction with other people as possible?
“When this thing hit, we looked at how to eliminate driver interaction at the warehouse, since we load 60-80 drivers from a warehouse in New Jersey each day. This software allowed us to cut out interactions,” says CEO Frank Matarazzo.