Microsoft Azure-powered app supports return-to-workplace planning and Covid-19 screening
Healthcare company UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft have partnered to launch the new ProtectWell protocol and Microsoft Azure-powered mobile application. The combined solutions will support employers as they implement return-to-workplace strategies and ensure staff’s safety by screening for Covid-19 symptoms.
ProtectWell incorporates Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and helps employees determine that they are safe to work, gives co-workers the peace of mind that their colleagues have been screened – using the ProtectWell app – and provides employers with the confidence that their workplace is safe to return to normal operations.
“As we plan for a safe and careful return to the workplace, employers need clear guidelines to ensure a safe environment and a robust process for employees to screen themselves for Covid-19 symptoms,” said Ken Ehlert, chief scientific officer at UnitedHealth Group. “We are pleased to collaborate with Microsoft to launch ProtectWell, a simple and effective tool to ensure employers and employees have the information and resources they need to keep themselves, their colleagues and the public safe and healthy.”
The ProtectWell app also uses Microsoft artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics solutions, as well as the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service, which is being used around the world for AI-assisted Covid-19 symptom triaging. The bot asks users questions to assess their Covid-19 symptoms or exposure. According to a Microsoft news story about the project, “if risk of infection is indicated, employers can direct their employees to a streamlined Covid-19 testing process that enables closed-loop ordering and reporting of test results directly back to employers.”
The combined solution also includes guidelines and resources to support a safe work environment, including social distancing and personal hygiene.
“As businesses begin to reopen, employers will need to monitor and manage their workforce for Covid-19 symptoms to help ensure those at risk of spreading the virus stay home until cleared by medical providers,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of worldwide commercial business at Microsoft. “Microsoft is pleased to join with UnitedHealth Group to launch ProtectWell, which helps organisations manage the complexity of this undertaking.”