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Detroit tech company develops COVID-19 safety app for workspaces

DETROIT – As businesses push to reopen, Detroit based app development company Andonix have launched a new app allowing employers to monitor employee health data and social distancing as they return to work.

The app is called Safely. According to the developers, the app is designed to streamline access points of businesses. Workers will still have to have their temperatures checked, and fill out a specialized questionnaire, which once done, can be scanned via QR code to let an employee into the building or plant.

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According to a video on the Safely website, once inside employees or visitors get a color code on the app allowing them to be in certain places of their workspace. The tracking also creates a heatmap of where employees are too close, in theory letting employers and health officials monitor and adapt social distancing guidelines.

“Detection really starts at the door and so we have to enable a process that creates a real structure around how do you get into a company and into building, what becomes or has become a safe space, and then ultimately what happens once you cross that door,” developer Oliver Theiss said. Theiss designed and developed the app alongside his co-developer David Yanez.

Theiss and Yanez said their app does not keep location information nor does any of the information get down to the individual employee level, ensuring that employee data isn’t being harvested or kept by their company. Some of the information, such as a heat map of trouble spots, is available to employers.

“If you elect an opt in to share, share your location is not different than ways, or Google Maps, where you basically are anonymous to everyone, you see yourself with the map and you see like traffic, like the heat map shows like traffic so nobody knows who you are, nobody knows where you are,” Yanez said.

The app is already being used by major manufacturers like Fiat-Chrysler, American Axle and Master Electronics. Andonix also plans to break into industries like food processing and healthcare where phones may not be allowed in work spaces through automated detection.

Yanez and Theiss said they also plan to open a brick and mortar store front for frontline workers and companies to buy personal protection equipment which they plan to open Memorial Day.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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