At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fuse Technology Group Inc. recognized it would need a solution for monitoring symptoms of employees, many of whom work on software products for essential companies.
So the Ferndale, Mich.-based software developer made its own, and is rolling out that software to its clients and others plotting strategies for returning to work and figuring out how to best mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
As companies express interest in the product, Fuse looks at the regulations of the state and local governments where the business is located and tailors the software to those needs, said Kevin Gravier, director of programming services at Fuse Technology.
"It's a very generic solution for small and medium-size businesses that were planning to launch with paper," said Gravier, adding that it's intended to offer "peace of mind" to businesses as they reengage their workforces.
Fuse Technology is one of many companies in a rush to create a digital solution as health screenings, in which questions are asked related to symptoms and interactions with sick people, become part of a new normal.
Using software aims to answer questions from employers when it comes to collection of workers' health data and practical matters like who should be responsible for taking temperatures.
Beyond health screenings, new guidance drafted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday would give different organizations specifics about how to reopen while still limiting spread of the virus, including by spacing workers or students 6 feet apart and closing break rooms and cafeterias to limit gatherings. Many of the suggestions already appear on federal websites but haven't been presented as reopening advice.
Fuse Technology has joined what has become a crowded marketplace of technology suppliers in just a matter of weeks.
Red Level Group, a Novi, Mich.-based IT services and application development company, this month launched COVID ClearPass, an app that requires employees to give health declarations.
Similarly, Quicken Loans Inc., the Detroit-based online mortgage company, has been developing an application for use by its employees. Should a Quicken Loans worker fail the screening questions, then the employee's badge is turned off, denying them access to facilities.
Meanwhile, Detroit-based workplace application developer Andonix has its core product, called Smart Work Station, in use by manufacturers. The product aims to allow large manufacturers to move their training materials to an app installed on a new worker's smartphone.
But with manufacturing having mostly ground to a halt in recent months, the company has pivoted toward a new health screening app called Safely. The company is offering the app for free and has interested clients in manufacturing, construction and professional services.
"We see that the pandemic is going to change our social and work habits in the same way that 9/11 changed the travel industry," said Andonix CEO David Salazar Yanez.