Unlike other pandemics of similar scale and effect, COVID-19 emerged in a period that can be described as the “digital age” as we know it today. Characterized by widespread mobile usage, IoT (Internet of Things) technologies, Big Data and AI (Artificial Intelligence), today’s technology landscape has provided countless digital risk management tools for the containment of the virus.
An article published in The Lancet builds a framework for the application of digital risk management tools at a macro level, stating that successful governments implemented digital technologies for pandemic planning, distribution of medical supplies, contact tracing, quarantine, and screening for infection.
On a smaller scale, businesses have the responsibility to make sure any transmission is contained within the workplace to prevent a company-wide spread. Facing this challenge, many organizations turned to digital risk management tools.
Simplified Social Distancing
COVID-19 is spread through airborne transmission, meaning social distancing and self-isolation are our main tools to prevent infection in the first place. At work, employees must make sure there is at least 1.5to 2 meters of distance between each other, which may be difficult or distracting to always maintain as they are working.
Simplifying the process of social distancing is made possible with digital solutions. Using wireless localization technologies such as UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) or Bluetooth, wearable devices can be used to determine when two device wearers are in risky proximity to activate and warn them to keep a safe distance from each other. This ensures that transmissions are prevented, reducing the risk of a company-wide spread. With social distancing wearables, management can minimize the risk of production delays by making sure employees are protected and safe from the risk of infection.
Data-Driven Contact Tracing
Traditional contact tracing methods are inefficient and prone to error. Contact tracers manually establish the contact history of each infected person to determine those at risk and the process is done relying solely on testimonies of the infected person. This means that there is the risk of some contacts being forgotten and a whole chain of transmission being overlooked. Digital risk management tools prevent any errors and shortens the process by recording all risky interactions as they happen for the filiation process to be as accurate as possible. Only those who are at risk can be determined and isolated if necessary,
Efficient Screening for Infection
Many companies are providing PCR testing to their employees. This practice is beneficial for not only the employees themselves, but also the employers. By having a screening process in place, the company can make sure that if a positive COVID-19 case is observed, other workers can be tested to take preemptive measures to contain the infection.
For the planning of the screening, digital tools for risk management once again come in handy. With accurate contact tracing, management can identify the employees who are at risk and provide testing for them. Safe Steps brings this one step further with the implementation of social distance score. The algorithm analyzes the recorded interactions based on the distance between the users and the duration of the interaction, providing a numerical value that indicates the level of risk. Using the Social Distance Score, management can prioritize the employees with the lowest scores when planning for any testing. Currently, more than 20 factories with 35.000 employees are using Safe Steps to benefit from fast administration of PCR testing to those who need it the most, making better business decisions and cutting costs with concrete risk analysis. The Social Distancing Score is also an efficient tool to educate employees on healthy workplace practices in the context of a pandemic. Instead of top-down approach, the Social Distance Score allows the employees to see how well they are complying with the regulations and adjust the way they work accordingly to keep themselves and others around them safe.
With Safe Steps, companies are able to complement manual methods of contact tracing and social distancing to boost efficiency and accuracy, yielding better results in risk management. With real-time social distance warnings, customers were able to prevent as many as 100 risky interactions per user. Customers also report an improvement in the accuracy of contact tracing activities, preventing a company-wide spread that may result in temporary production downtime or reduced productivity. Take a look at our success stories for more information on how our customers benefited from using Safe Steps as a safety management tool.
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