First wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has been addressed with public health measures such as lockdowns and social distancing. Now, as restrictions are gradually being lifted, companies have started to bring their employees back to the office. Employers must ensure that this return is safe and will not cause yet another outbreak. This need has resulted in the creation of a “back to work” market and vendors from diverse industries are rushing to capitalize on it.
The COVID – 19 pandemic has starkly driven up the demand for digital health services. Prominent examples of such solutions include national Covid-19 tracing apps, which have seen in most countries modest adoption rates. Telehealth vendors have benefited the most looking at massively increased number of remote consultations during the first half of 2020. These, together with public health initiatives such as lockdowns, social distancing, wearing face masks and use of hand sanitizers have been critical in combating the first wave of the pandemic.
Now, with gradual lifting of restrictions, combined with the need to revitalize the economy, businesses small and large are starting to reopen. This has resulted in the necessity to develop a system on how to open the workplace safely. Companies must make sure that they can either prevent or are able to withstand a second wave of the pandemic. This created a new demand, which is making vendors from different industries rush towards developing products and services for the “COVID-19 back to work” market.
Vendors of the “back to work” market come from diverse industries such as hospitals, digital health startups, specialized equipment manufacturers, software companies, pharmacy chains, as well as manufacturers of Covid-19 test kits. They differ in size and offer already a wide range of services. Vendors can either specialize in one service area, such as UDV equipping hospitals with autonomous ultraviolet-light (UV) disinfection robots or provide integrated services like CVS pharmacy’s “Return Ready” program. These include tracing, testing and a comprehensive action plan to reopen business.
These services address the safety and wellbeing of employees’ from different angles:
Businesses must find a safe way to bring their employees back to the workplace. An outbreak will not only expose employees to health risks but also have substantial economic consequences. In that regard, all companies must:
After the strong uptake of telehealth solutions, “back to work” services will be the next big thing to grow the digital health market globally. Vendors from diverse industries including big tech like Google and Salesforce have already started entering the market. Eventually as countries/societies return to normalization, more and more companies and institutions will have to open up including companies from all industries but also schools, universities, public offices, community centers or event locations.
It is a global need. With millions of corporates and institutions to be addressed. With each COVID-19 outbreak the demand for “back to work” services will become bigger.
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