Now, more than ever, small businesses are having a tough time. As Covid-19 spreads across the world, small business owners are feeling the crunch. The economy is slowing down, and in many cities, people can’t leave their houses. In cities that aren’t on lockdown, the economy is slowing anyway – no-one wants to risk infecting others.
The first confirmed case occurred in the United States occurred on Jan. 21 and already, businesses are being severely affected. After interviewing 1,500 small business owners, Goldman Sachs found that only 49% think will operate beyond three months. Especially vulnerable are young businesses relying on social interaction and operation of machinery.
Small business owners are being confronted with the impact of their worker’s health not only on their bottom line but also on society at large. Experts predict that Covid-19 will stick around for a while, infecting populations in waves. This means that small business will have to adapt to a post-Covid-19 world. One in which slow-downs and lockdowns are no longer a rare occurrence.
Pre-Shift Health Checks Are Critical
Health checks have always been important, but now they are critically so.
Many small business owners are required by law to conduct pre-shift health checks. In work environments that require the operation of heavy machinery, these checks are indispensable. Others choose to conduct health checks because of the benefits it offers to their businesses.
Health checks assist in stemming the spread of Covid-19 by preventing possibly infected workers from entering the workspace. These checks keep your workers healthy and safe, preventing workplace accidents caused by intoxication, illness or other incapacities.
Despite these benefits, pre-shift health checkups are often cost-prohibitive and time-consuming. Health checks require medical staff to check workers’ temperatures and blood alcohol levels one by one. As your business scales up, so too must your medical staff.
Automated Exams Make it Easy
Enter electronic health checkup systems. These automated devices act as gatekeepers for your business, stopping people who fail the test from entering your place of work. No human intervention needed. It’s fast too, capable of running mass health checkups in just a few minutes.
Here are just some of the small businesses that can benefit from automated health checkup systems:
- Transportation including delivery services and trucking.
- Businesses that work in water, gas, electricity and sewage.
- Small-scale manufacturing.
- Construction including home refurbishments, plumbing and electrical work.
- Restaurants and other businesses that deal with food preparation.
- Medical practices like physiotherapy and dentist offices.
- Private security companies.
So how have these systems automated medical examinations?
It sounds futuristic, but electronic health checkup systems have existed for a long time. Automated breathalyzers have been available since 2016, and automated temperature sensors have been a staple of airport security for years. The genius of its modern-day equivalent is that it combines these technologies using existing programming languages – and automating the process.
In other words, current medical tests plus programing languages equals automated medical examinations.
Here’s how a typical experience with an electronic healthcare checkup goes:
- Like a security checkpoint at the airport, the user approaches a free station.
- They are identified by their ID, usually an access card.
- The machine measures standard medical indicators – blood alcohol, body temperature, pupil dilation and blood pressure.
- The health checkup is over, and the employee confirms their identity.
During these tests, a lot more is going on in the background:
- The station automatically communicates with the server to check which medical check-ups it needs to perform. This means that the system can conduct tailored examinations per employee.
- These requirements are cross-checked with the company policy.
- Once the medical check is completed (for instance, a breathalyzer test) the system collects the information and saves it on a central server.
- This server can run on the business’s premises or on the cloud. The central server also allows the devices on the network to send information back and forth, ensuring your database is always up to date.
- The results of the test are validated by a medical officer.
The Bottom Line
The recent resurgence of Covid-19 in Hong Kong is proof that dealing with Covid-19 will be a recurrent challenge throughout 2020. Adapting business practices to cope with the change essential. Adopting automated solutions are just one of the many ways technology will help owners adapt to doing business in the time of Covid-19.