Combatting the COVID-19 Pandemic With Technology

Photo by Michael Marais on Unsplash

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact daily life around the world, several MentorMate clients are doing their part to combat its effects. From helping with testing efforts to boosting people’s mental health to keeping public places clean, technology is at the core of everything.

Since the start of the pandemic, we worked with these clients to quickly implement solutions that make a difference.

With several locations across the Twin Cities, Valley Medical and Wellness specializes in chronic pain and addiction care. As part of that work, they already have a high-complexity toxicology lab in their facilities. With just a few equipment upgrades, they were able to quickly spring into action at the outset of the pandemic and help with COVID-19 testing efforts.

As the lab was getting upgraded to be able to start testing, Valley Medical had to figure out how to test patients as safely, quickly, and efficiently as possible. While drive-up testing is by far the safest method, the registration process drastically reduces speed and efficiency. That’s where Valley Medical enrolled MentorMate’s help.

We built a system to assist in the patient registration and insurance validation processes. Patient information is still individually validated but it’s done outside of testing hours rather than in the moment with a line of cars waiting. By freeing up techs to focus on testing rather than data verification, Valley Medical prioritizes making testing available for all. They’re now able to test hundreds of patients each day rather than the 20 that they were able to test before having the tool we built.

In order for companies around the world to return to in-person work, there are a number of different safeguards that must be put in place first. ProtectWell is a digital solution that standardizes those safeguards into an easy-to-use system. It integrates simple symptom tracking and resources.

Using the ProtectWell mobile app, employees simply respond to a set of yes/no questions based on common COVID-19 symptoms. Depending on the responses given, the app either clears them for building entry or advises them to stay home. If given the green light, a “Cleared” status will appear and a QR code is generated that can be used to enter their workplace for the day.

ProtectWell worked with Microsoft on a proof of concept for the system before enrolling us to build a native iOS and Android app as well as a React-based admin portal. The entire system is powered by Microsoft Azure and AI.

Currently, ProtectWell is in use by many different organizations and higher education institutions to provide clearance for a return-to-work/school environment. But that’s just the beginning. We’re currently working with ProtectWell on a 2.0 version of the system that incorporates an individual use case. As businesses like retail stores, gyms, and restaurants across the country begin to welcome customers back into their facilities, ProtectWell 2.0 ensures they’re able to get back together.

Taylor Corporation, MentorMate’s parent company, is a marketing and print services company that produces everything from greeting cards to signage to marketing collateral. With around 100 facilities across North America that rely on in-person work, Taylor has numerous safeguards in place to ensure employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One such safeguard is a smell test. Since loss of smell is one of the earliest indicators of COVID-19, a Taylor facility in Mexico began using jars of recognizable scents to see if employees had the common symptom. Five employees failed the smell test and four then tested positive for COVID-19. This smell test, along with temperature checks and daily symptom screening, helped leadership at the facility determine who was able to work each day.

When Taylor’s leadership heard about this unique approach, they saw an opportunity to scale it up through more Taylor facilities and later customers started asking for the products as well.

Thus, scentcard™ and Scent Check™ were born.

Taylor utilized its expertise as a printing company to create an innovative product that could be used to help its employees add more safety measures for the manufacturing facilities. The products use scratch and sniff technology with scented inks and numerous common scents. Before employees can begin work for the day, they check in at an HR checkpoint, get their temperature taken, and conduct the smell test using either Scent Check or scentcard.

Taylor enrolled MentorMate to design and build a digital product to enable users to scan a QR code, register their answers online, and provide reporting and alerts to employers. If they pass the test, they’re given the all-clear to go to work. If they fail, they have the opportunity to take it again.

If they fail again, an email is sent to their employer where the organization can then follow their COVID-19 protocols and determine next steps. The employer is also sent a daily summary report with all the test data for employees that facilitates trend analysis and site to site comparison.

Since time was of the essence, we worked quickly with Taylor on this project. Very quickly. Kicking off a two-week Define phase at the beginning of September, we deployed the first version of the app on October 9 and the second at the end of October. In addition, we created a clickable prototype that allowed Taylor to train and prepare in advance of the launch as well as create useful materials to help customers understand how it all worked.

Taylor determined the best way to go to market was with two products. Each was designed with specific end uses, markets and functionality. The technology solution needed to be able to serve both products.

Scent Check and scentcard are the first of their kind for daily smell testing. They’ve been implemented in manufacturing, construction, warehousing and distribution, schools, home healthcare organizations, and long-term care facilities. Taylor has scaled its production to produce millions of tests per week.

While there are often many barriers to obtaining high-quality mental healthcare — access, cost, stigma — it’s even more challenging during a global pandemic. Our behavioral healthcare client not only tackles these common barriers but also provides an immersive experience that demonstrably improves outcomes. Its intuitive mobile app offers comprehensive mental healthcare — self-care, peer support, coaching, and therapy — to help millions of people feel better in measurable, meaningful ways.

As soon as the pandemic began, the company saw a dramatic influx of new users and quickly recognized the increased stress, fear, and trauma that people were experiencing. To combat this, it made its premium plan available to anyone who wanted it free of charge. In addition, it began producing content that was specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and the mental health issues that came with it. This included content dealing with isolation, death, and stress stemming from unemployment as well as coaching and support groups for frontline workers.

Cleanliness obviously plays a critical role in combating a global pandemic. Now more than ever, businesses want to give their employees and customers the peace of mind that everything they come in contact with is clean. Our IoT-enabled cleaning equipment client provides smart cleaning solutions and products to some of the largest companies in the world. Its product offering includes IoT-enabled industrial cleaning machines like floor scrubbers, carpet extractors, burnishers, and vacuum cleaners.

We partnered with them to design and build a platform that connects to those devices and reports data and analytics back to the company and its customers. This allows its customers to track, upgrade, and monitor the performance of their cleaning equipment in real-time and increase their cleaning efficiency. Performance data includes battery level, hourly usage, and any maintenance issues that arise.

Original post found here.

Authored by Joel Swenson:

Joel’s writing career has its roots in his childhood. Growing up, if he didn’t have his nose in a book, he could be found penning short stories and bootleg comics for friends. Joel joined MentorMate after nearly a decade in the bicycle industry where he worked as a Copywriter across multiple brand teams. He brings a wealth of experience crafting brand voices, writing blogs, and producing video content. When he’s not writing, you’ll likely find him biking, attempting to make the perfect ravioli, and/or scheming camping trips to remote places around the world.

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