Verily and CVS Health are among the latest big names lending their health and technology expertise to reopening businesses. Both companies have announced new enterprise offerings incorporating COVID-19 testing, symptom checking, clinical support, data analysis and app-based tools for employees.
Verily's approach, called Healthy at Work, incorporates local, onsite and mail testing services into a centralized digital analytics dashboard.
Employees are provided with an app they use to report daily symptoms or disease exposure, and will be sent in-app messages advising them whether or not to come to work. Employers can customize those criteria based on their organization's needs, as well as on population analytics, up-to-date public health guidance and recommendations from Verily's in-house clinical and data science teams.
CVS Health, meanwhile, is taking a bit more of an end-to-end approach by providing its own testing services as part of the deal. Worksites and school campuses using the Return Ready offering may choose to have: on-site rapid-testing services set up and conducted by CVS Health licensed professionals, drive-thru testing available at roughly 1,400 CVS pharmacies or tests processed by a third-party lab.
In addition to the testing capabilities, Return Ready also comes with a similar analytics dashboard and digital tools for use by employees or students. CVS Health will also give customers the option of add-on tools such as thermal scanners or contact-tracing technology, as well as seasonal vaccination services for those who opt for on-site support.
“Organizations can rely on our customizable return to worksite and campus solution, which will evolve and adapt to include the latest COVID-19 testing technology and clinical protocols to meet their specific population health management needs,” Dr. Troyen Brennan, Chief Medical Officer and EVP of CVS Health, said in a statement. “Return Ready is one more way that we’re increasing access to COVID-19 testing options, whether in the local community, at CVS Pharmacy locations or where people work and study.”
WHY IT MATTERS
Many organizations that either closed down or went remote due to COVID-19 have been working to resume operations. But with more and more evidence of rising case counts, healthcare and technology companies alike see a new business opportunity that's in very high demand across the U.S.
THE LARGER TREND
Both companies have looked to facilitate testing services over the last few months. That effort has largely taken the form of retail pharmacies, for CVS, and public health-partnership programs for Verily (the latter kicking off to somewhat of a rough start).
However, Verily's new Healthy at Work service launch is a bit perplexing, as it comes about a week and a half after Fitbit announced its device- and app-driven Ready for Work solution. The wearables maker was purchased late last year by Verily's sister company Google and would ostensibly be in the final stages of that process, placing the two offerings in direct competition with each other.
The big names aren't alone in targeting this new employee COVID-19 screening market. Zebra Technologies and VitalTech each unveiled digital health efforts early in the month that focus on employee proximity and contact tracing, and on at-home symptom checking, respectively.