Microsoft and United Health Group on Friday launched ProtectWell, an app that allows people to check their symptoms before they go to work, according tomedia CNET. Depending on people’s honest answers, it can suggest that people can go to work or stay at home, or suggest that people contact a medical facility for examination or testing. It is driven by Microsoft’s AI and Cloud Technologies and UnitedHealth Group’s health knowledge, all of which are based on CDC guidelines.
The ProtectWell application is query-based and uses CDC guidelines to determine whether people may have symptoms of COVID-19. Microsoft and UnitedHealth say this self-reporting is an effective screening technique.
It is difficult to monitor the symptoms of 155 million people working in the United States. “The most effective way to do this is to ask individuals every day,” said Dr. David Rhew, Microsoft’s global chief medical officer, who presents a seemingly simple questionnaire. “That’s just part of what we’re focused on, and testing is a key part of it. “
This is where the UnitedHealth Group intervenes with its expertise in healthcare, pharmacy and payments, although DesignWell is free for all employers, not just affiliates of the UnitedHealth Group. “The more people who download it, use it, and track symptoms, the safer it is for all of us,” said Ken Ehlert, chief scientific officer at UnitedHealth. “It doesn’t require us to connect with everyone. For example, a small employer with five employees can do just that. We all need to have confidence in how we connect in an environment. “
The use of the platform by the employer is entirely optional and the use of the platform by the employee will be determined by the employer. They can implement ProtectWell as a selective addition tool, or they can see it as a drug test more like a commercial driver as a condition of employment.
Although ProtectWell focuses on COVID-19, it seems that it can do more to control the virus. Tracking chronic, non-communicable health conditions may occur in the future through dialogue with the app and the integration of biometric signals from wearables and devices that are already connected around us.
“The same technology allows us to capture, analyze, and share securely,” Says Rhew. “It’s a model that can be used, but depending on the conditions we’re talking about, there has to be a process and privacy expectations outside of public health emergencies.” For now, this use of the ProtectWell platform is pure speculation, but better health monitoring in the future seems to be a positive outcome of the pandemic.