The Future is Here: Technology in a Pandemic

Many companies have em- braced technology during the COVID-19 pandemic. From remote communication tools to AI to EHSQ software, never has technology been more necessary to connect people and help with production challenges than it has in 2020.

IHW sat down with Sean Baldry, Product Marketing Manager, Safety & Health Solutions, at Cority, to dis- cuss just how companies can utilize technology — both now and in the future.

Said Baldry: “Obviously, measures taken to increase social distancing has led to more people working from home, so it’s easy to see how telecommunication tools (Skype, Zoom, etc.) are still allowing businesses to operate in these changing circumstances.”

Baldry named the following examples of interesting applications and use cases for technology in light of COVID-19:

  • Deploying artificial intelligence to identify people who are not wearing face masks and issuing an announcement, via smartphone apps, to inform them to put one on.
  • Use of drones to identify potentially infected persons or contaminated surfaces with thermal imaging technology.

Cority’s software solutions offer many specialized tools that organizations can use to help them manage during this time. They include medical screening, worker absenteeism tracking and more.

Absence management: This allows workers to submit an absence request directly from a mobile device. Workers Photo courtesy Cority who are feeling ill can report they will be absent digitally, without having to chase down a supervisor or tying up a phone line. Supervisors can forward a digital health-screening questionnaire to the employee to complete, which can be used to determine whether the individual is showing symptoms of COVID- 19. Absence data can be used to assess workforce availability to staff essential operations, as well as using demographic data of absent employees (i.e. position, age, location, etc.) to look for patterns of exposure that might indicate gaps in pandemic control measures—and where further action and/or resources are required.

Questionnaires: Advanced questionnaires can help organizations pro- actively identify who might be displaying symptoms of COVID-19 infection, so immediate measures can be taken to help reduce transmission risks.

Advanced Dashboards: Cority’s out-of-the-box dashboard can be used to oversee and coordinate all COVID-19 pandemic response actions from a single location, so they can stay apprised of new developments or gaps in their response efforts, and to communicate protocols to workers. The dashboard would serve as “mission control,” to help guide them through the crisis and man- age their actions effectively.

“The overarching idea from these tools is to manage the entire breadth of the pandemic response from a single location; to simplify and streamline their workflows to save time; and to give high-quality, real-time data to help make the best decisions available to keep people safe and maintain business operations for as long as possible.”