Top 5 touchless tech health solutions and what they’ll cost your business

Ryan Monahan

September 1 2020

touchless tech health solutions wearable tech health screening contact tracing AI QR

The world has changed in the wake of COVID-19, with many struggling to adapt to a new way of life. As businesses reopen and people start to return to public areas, safety is the number one priority, for both customers and employees.

Fortunately, the tech sector has birthed a variety of innovative solutions that support successful re-entry to the workplace. Here are five touchless tech health solutions worth considering as you reopen your business.

1. Wearable Tech

Some wearable smart devices, such as smartwatches, can check your temperature, as a fever can be an early warning sign that you might be infected.

CNBC reported in June that Amazon was testing a wearable device that alerts employees when they're too close to other employees wearing the same type of device.

The device was described in a memo as a "clear plastic sleeve with a clip that features an LED light and audio system."

Price: Cheap, modern smartwatches start at around $40 on Amazon, though standard and high-end name-brand models will generally cost between $180 and $500 and offer more features (such as checking your temperature), smartphone connectivity, and better accuracy in their measurements.

2. Health Screening & Contact Tracing with QR Codes

Originally seen as a failed marketing gimmick, QR codes are quickly being adopted around the world to disperse and collect information because access is both contactless and instant through smartphone cameras.

There are a wide variety of ways that they’re being used, including checking in at hotels, displaying online menus at restaurants, and sending customers to a company's website.

Tapple, a tech startup based out of Boston, was one of the first to create a COVID-19 health screening solution. Users fill out a brief questionnaire about their health on their phone after scanning a QR code, which then prompts them through an ID verification process.

It also serves as a contact tracing tool with end-to-end encryption on the data collected, without the need for users to download an app.

Price: Tapple offers a free business re-entry assessment and demo of their health screening solution, which includes unlimited mobile experiences, on-demand reporting, and ID verification.

3. Automation: Robots and AI

Earlier this year, autonomous UV-C cleaning robots were observed around the world disinfecting high-traffic locations.

Using high intensity ultraviolet light, these AI-powered robots were deployed in hospitals, airports, and other public areas to disinfect floors and small-to-medium-sized rooms.

An option for most businesses to consider is to integrate chatbots on your website or to utilize voice-controlled devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google, and other smart assistants.

These technologies can serve to answer basic questions, solve common issues, or to excite and engage with your customers by using the technology creatively.

Price: UV-C devices range in price depending on which type you choose. Portable UV-C disinfection wands for homes, offices, and restaurants are typically listed between $40-120 on Amazon, while UV-C room cleaners for hospitals reportedly fall between $10,000-120,000.

4. Contact Tracing Apps

Contact Tracing has been an important topic of discussion in recent months for detecting the spread of COVID-19.

The idea is to utilize Bluetooth or other geolocation technology already inside users’ smartphones along with a dedicated mobile app to collect and store location data and record when users are close to others with the app on their phone.

When someone tests positive, they then self-report this to the app. The app then alerts people who were recently near that person and provides instructions on how to stay safe and prevent further spread.

However, recently publicized data violations by larger tech companies have led to a growing consumer sentiment of distrust towards invasive tracking apps.

The simple action of having to download an app in order to participate hinders adoption as well.

Price: Contact tracing apps are currently free, though the apps are restricted to use within individual states in the U.S.

5. Contactless Payment Technologies

Debuting in the early 2010s, tap-to-pay and security chips became a standard feature of smartphones, and just a few years later, credit/debit cards implemented the technology as well.

Using NFC, or Near Field Communication, for tap-to-pay and EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) through small chips inside your cards, they communicate the same information as swiping a card through a scanner with less contact and stronger security.

This allows for customers to pay without having to hand over their card to a cashier, allowing both the customer and cashier to stay a safe distance away and reduce the amount of physical contact needed to complete a transaction.

Similar options, such as apps and websites like Venmo, Zelle, and PayPal, enable independent resellers and their customers to quickly and safely send and receive payments by not having to use cash.

Price: A device similar to the one pictured above through Square costs $49, with a flate rate of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction.

The Bottom Line

In order to draw consumers and staff back into physical spaces, businesses need to find and implement the right tools quickly. Fortunately, a wide variety of touchless technologies ranging in complexity and price are now widely available.

Clearly communicating your re-entry plan is critical to regaining the trust of workers and customers, and ensuring your business can remain open during COVID-19.

Not sure if your business is ready to reopen safely? Schedule a free Re-Entry Safety Assessment today.