What You Should Know:
UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft team up to launch ProtectWell, a return to workplace protocol that includes a free smartphone app that screens for COVID-19 symptoms and clears employees for daily work.
Backed by CDC guidelines and the latest clinical science, ProtectWell provides employers a return-to-workplace framework to support the health and safety of the workforce and workplace.
UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft Corp. have joined forces to launch ProtectWell, an COVID-19 return-to-workplace protocol backed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. ProtectWell™ incorporates latest clinical research to limit the spread of COVID-19 by screening employees for symptoms and establishing guidelines to support the health and safety of the workforce and workplace.
ProtectWell™ combines UnitedHealth Group’s clinical and data analytics capabilities with Microsoft’s technology leadership to help in the next phases of COVID-19 recovery efforts. The ProtectWell app is powered by Microsoft Azure, AI and analytics solutions, and also takes advantage of the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service, which is being used around the world for AI-assisted COVID-19 symptom triaging.
Free App That Screens Employees for COVID-19 Symptoms
The ProtectWell™ protocol is supported by a smartphone app that allows employers to offer workers a simple screening tool designed for everyday use. The ProtectWell™ app includes an AI-powered health care bot that asks users a series of questions to screen for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. If risk of infection is indicated, employers can direct their employees to a streamlined COVID-19 testing process that enables closed-loop ordering and reporting of test results directly back to employers.
Leveraging De-Identified Health Data
UnitedHealth Group will maintain control over protected healthcare data and will manage opt-in and consent requirements needed from app users. Microsoft will not have access to identifiable information shared via the ProtectWell™ app. De-identified workforce health trends and analytics information will help employers and policymakers make informed occupational and public health decisions.
In addition, ProtectWell™ includes guidelines and resources to support a safe work environment, including physical distancing, personal hygiene, sanitation and more. Employers can also choose additional custom content specific to their workforce for a personalized experience.
ProtectWell Deployment to Frontline Workers
UnitedHealth Group has already deployed ProtectWell™ with its own frontline healthcare workers, is in process of implementing the tool across its business to enable safe return of team members to the workplace, and is making the platform available to all employers in the United States at no charge. Microsoft intends to deploy ProtectWell™ for its U.S.-based employees.
“As we plan for a safe and careful return to the workplace, employers need clear guidelines to ensure a safe environment and a robust process for employees to screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms,” said Ken Ehlert, chief scientific officer, UnitedHealth Group. “We are pleased to collaborate with Microsoft to launch ProtectWell™, a simple and effective tool to ensure employers and employees have the information and resources they need to keep themselves, their colleagues and the public safe and healthy.”