As businesses across the country grapple with how to safely bring employees back to the physical workplace, a new voice-enabled health detection and monitoring app from Sonde Health promises to potentially help employers improve employee safety, meet government mandates, and satisfy their own administrative needs as they reopen office doors in a rapidly changing COVID-19 environment.
The new tool, called Sonde One, leverages the company’s advanced vocal biomarker platform and machine learning technology. With a single 6-second voice sample, the app is designed to quickly and objectively detect respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, shortness of breath, or chest tightness or pain. The app combines this voice analysis with a comprehensive, CDC-informed COVID-19 questionnaire and user-inputted body temperature to give employees clear instructions about where they can work within one minute. Employers can deploy the solution to any number of staff anywhere and make daily informed decisions regarding who can go into the workplace or who should work from home, without requiring new equipment or workflows.
“At Sonde, we believe that voice is a vital sign and a meaningful predictor of health,” said David Liu, Chief Executive Officer for Sonde Health. “By analyzing a few seconds of speech, we can detect subtle changes in a person’s voice caused by common symptoms of respiratory disease. We built this capability into the Sonde One app so organizations can provide their employees with simple and fast COVID-19 monitoring in their pocket.”
To bring Sonde One to market, Sonde has partnered with corporate wellness solutions provider Wellworks for You to make the tool available to its clients and their 1.4 million participating members. SHI International, a 5,000-person global provider of technology products and services, is the first enterprise to enroll. The company will begin implementing the Sonde One app in August, as it gradually begins bringing employees back to the workplace, starting with its Somerset, NJ headquarters.
“After months of remote work and distributed workforces, many employers want to get their employees back in the office; they’re just not sure of the best way to do it,” says Thomas Tegler, President of Wellworks for You. “At Wellworks for You, we’re always seeking better ways to promote employee wellness and preventative care, and in today’s healthcare climate, Sonde Health provides a novel solution. Sonde One is an easy, non-invasive way for organizations to manage employee health risks during the pandemic and potentially get workers back to the office safely.”
“As we navigate this pandemic, our employees’ health and wellness is our top priority,” says Michael Haluska, Vice President of Human Resources for SHI International. “From the conference room to the warehouse floor, the Sonde One app will help us standardize our return to work policy to eliminate any confusion and keep all employees feeling safe.”
Sonde One can be customized to each employer’s return to work policy, giving employees clear guidance on whether they should or should not report for physical duty following each screening. Additionally, a QR code can be delivered to employees within the app and scanned at an organization’s front door to confirm compliance with protocols. Secure and customizable reporting capabilities enable employers to confirm employee participation, satisfy enterprise needs, and adhere to mandatory state guidelines surrounding employee screening and documentation.
Once an employer signs on, employees can download their employer-specific app via the App Store or Google Play on any smartphone, allowing for fast, simple deployment across enterprises.