The past few months have seen tech companies, healthcare organizations, employee-benefits vendors and others toss their hat into a fast-growing market for "return-to-work" COVID-19 health-monitoring services.
Today CVS Health and Salesforce, two of the bigger names in that race, have announced plans to integrate their offerings into a single digital, data-driven testing and monitoring program.
CVS Health's Return Ready program was anchored by on-site rapid-testing or thrive-through testing via more than 1,000 CVS pharmacy locations. Announced in June, these services came alongside an analytics dashboard and add-on such as thermal scanners and seasonal vaccinations.
Salesforce, meanwhile, had launched Work.com in early May. This enterprise tool acted as a singular hub, coordinating various data streams relevant to safe reopening efforts.
Together, the companies promise flexible testing arrangements, built-in test result reporting, personal wellness monitoring tools for employees and a risk management breakdown for organizations. Further, Work.com's Workplace Command Center will help customers identify potential exposures among staff, and adjust shift schedules to manage worksite or campus density.
WHAT'S THE IMPACT?
COVID-19 cases haven't slowed down in several states, yet many employers and schools are pushing forward with a very broad range of strategies aimed at cutting down new transmissions.
This combined offering appears to lean on both companies' strengths – a wide supply of licensed clinical staff and customizable testing strategies for CVS Health, and enterprise operations and data software for Salesforce.
By doing so, the partners are positioning their program as a more comprehensive package than those being pitched by their competitors in the tech-driven return-to-work space.
"While COVID-19 testing is an important tool to responsibly reopen worksite and campus locations, a comprehensive strategy requires wellness monitoring and contact tracing to help prevent an onsite outbreak and spread of the virus," Dr. Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer of CVS Health, said in a statement. "While there are a lot of COVID-19 tools hitting the market, the Work.com capabilities use the latest science and technology, and we believe, together with our Return Readytesting solution and clinical protocols, we can help our customers activate a comprehensive plan to return and maintain critical populations onsite."
THE LARGER TREND
While the alliance of CVS Health and Salesforce is no doubt among the bigger names tackling new demand, they still face plenty of competition, from smaller companies selling point tools to larger firms focused on integrated testing and reporting services.
Among these are Verily's Health at Work digital analytics and testing coordination product, Fitbit's device- and app-driven Ready for Work program, Sonde One's voice-based symptom analysis software and others.
ON THE RECORD
"Testing and manual contact tracing are key factors for organizations to reopen their shared locations and other shared spaces safely," Dr. Ashwini Zenooz, chief medical officer at Salesforce, said in a statement. "Together, Salesforce and CVS Health are able to help organizations access solutions and services to help decrease the risks that individuals face as they transition back to their worksite and campus locations."