URBANDALE, Iowa – From the Governor to top health officials, we hear COVID-19 is here to stay. At least, until a vaccine is found. Learning to live with the virus could mean learning to screen and track it.
An Urbandale company says it has found a way to help others get back in business and answer some of their questions.
“What do we do? How do we protect our employees? How do we manage liability?”
Dr. Jonathan Fialkov’s company launched Rati-Fi Shield. The software is designed to help businesses and other groups safely bring back their workforce.
“We’re getting calls from all over the United States. All different sectors, all the way from education to manufacturing to business,” said Fialkov.
Here’s how it works, an employee uses his or her device to log on. They answer a series of health questions based on the CDC’s list of symptoms for COVID-19. Fialkov says all the data is stored in a HIPPA compliant database.
Users are asked to take their temperature and then give their consent to proceed.
Once that happens, you fall into three categories. You’re either cleared to work, your QR code says ‘”incomplete” meaning more information is needed or “Mitigation” which could mean you’re at risk of COVID-19. That’s where the contact tracing part of the system kicks in.
“We have just enough information to provide reasonable accuracy who many have come in contact with that employee or team member at an organization, but not so intrusive that that individual should feel uncomfortable that they’re being watched or followed and they have no true privacy,” explained Fialkov.
“To really do contact tracing, we really have to know everywhere we’ve been and everyone we’ve been in contact with,” said ISU Professor Doug Jacobson.
Jacobson says the debate over safety and privacy isn’t new. The pandemic has just driven it to a new level.
“Unfortunately, we give up some amount of privacy in order to be safe and secure. It’s a matter of where do we move that needle is something society has to, has to make a decision on,” said Jacobson.
Rati-Fi Shield went live with its software this week. The company says it is in talks with half a dozen organizations in Iowa and across the country.