Health-screening app helps employees return to work safely

As more and more businesses contemplate having employees return to the workplace during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a number of apps are entering the market to help companies cope with this challenge.

The latest is Employee Screening Solution, an app-based solution designed to help employers track and protect the health of their returning workforces. It was unveiled by mHealthCoach, a software company that develops employee-management systems for human resources departments.

The app provides businesses with a system for daily employee screening for COVID-19 symptoms. It also offers resources for at-risk employees and reporting capabilities that enable robust record-keeping.

Each morning, employees answer screening questions for symptoms before they come to work. If the answers meet safety guidelines, the employee receives a QR code. This allows management to view real-time screening data.

If an employee needs assistance, the app directs them to available testing sites and can even set up an appointment. Workers can also send their employer a secure message.

“Companies that can’t run on distributed workforces alone are looking at a long journey to the return of ‘business as usual’ and need an easy-to-integrate tool for sustainable, long-term threat management,” said Aamer Ghaffar, mHealthCoach’s founder.

The app was designed with the US government’s pandemic guidelines in mind, according to mHealthCoach. The Center for Disease Control is advising all businesses to enact monitoring programs for employees, and OSHA urges large and small businesses alike to have a coronavirus preparedness plan in place before resuming operations.

The app also meets federal privacy requirements by using a HIPAA-compliant cloud to protect sensitive information, according to mHealthCoach.

Federally mandated privacy and security laws have been a significant issue for coronavirus screening tools. A group of U.S. senators recently questioned whether Apple’s COVID-19 screening app and website were HIPAA-compliant. Apple addressed the senators’ concerns, outlining its privacy protections and encryption technology.

Also, it’s worth noting that mHealthCoach’s health-tracking app isn’t the only one on the market. In mid-May, Appian unveiled a series of apps to help organizations weather the coronavirus pandemic. An app called COVID-19 Response helps track the health of an employer’s workforce. Another app called Workforce Safety & Readiness helps organizations prepare to reopen their offices.

As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has teamed up with the Information Technology Industry Council to create a directory of safe tech tools and resources to help organizations cope.