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SMS service simplifies COVID-19 screening and compliance

HealthShield asks three questions and then issues an entry pass or suggests next steps to address possible health problems.


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A Utah company has built a texting solution to help sports teams, businesses, and event organizers screen people for COVID-19 symptoms quickly and frequently. HealthShield by 42Chat pushes out a short questionnaire and records the answers. The individual completing the screening either gets an entrance pass or guidance about what to do next, based on the answers.

Marty Wescott, director of Intermountain Lacrosse, said in a press release that he is required to screen every child, coach, volunteer, and referee before they take the field. He chose HealthShield to do that. 

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

“Everybody texts, so everybody can complete their symptom survey quickly on their own device, and we have an electronic record of every survey, so compliance is a breeze,” he said in a press release.

The National Cattleman’s Beef Association used the service to reduce the risk of contracting the virus at an in-person meeting this summer. Participants took a three-question survey, and then received a valid green check mark to enter, or a red or yellow mark restricting their access or referring them to additional actions before entering.

HealthShield allows organizations to provide health assessments to students, staff, customers, visitors, players, and fans on their cell phones via text. Some universities are using a new feature of a public safety app to deliver these screenings

42Chat also builds text artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots for businesses to distribute information and manage the customer experience.

Businesses and other organizations are choosing screening tools to fit their particular needs. Private companies can add screening questions to office check-in services to manage entry to an office space. Another option is to use Bluetooth to monitor the movement of cell phones in an office building or Bluetooth beacons for a more detailed understanding of those movements.

PwC repurposed existing intellectual property initially used to track assets within a building. The service monitors ambient signals—the constant background field of 2.4- and 5-gigahertz radio signals—in an office environment to understand how and when employees interact. The technology decodes the signals and analyzes how these signals interact.

The goal for this enterprise-level contact tracing is to make it easier for human resources departments to conduct contact tracing and use the information to reduce the risk of coronavirus cases spreading within a company.

Johns Hopkins is using a mobile app that requires a short video submission to check the health of hospital workers before they start their shifts.

Some airports are using lidar to keep people six feet apart and monitor overall density of public spaces. One platform uses light pulses and machine learning to determine how many people are in a public space and to help enforce social distancing.

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