The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, April 01, 2020 1:00 am

Local company creates virus app

Able to track health of employees

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

A local company has created software that allows employers to track workers' health status during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enterprise Health, a business unit of Medical Informatics Engineering, launched Channel 19 this week as non-essential businesses have closed but workforces at hospitals, groceries, utilities and other operations soldier on.

Those companies' supervisors must keep up with which employees have a confirmed coronavirus diagnosis, are showing symptoms or have compromised immunity – and who is available for work.

Jeff Donnell, Entreprise Health's president, said businesses with 500 or more workers are overwhelmed by trying to track employees' changing health status.

His company's software periodically sends emails to workers, directing them to log into a secure site that asks various health-related questions. Responses are recorded, allowing the employer to track individual status and run reports that tally how many workers are available for duty.

“Based on their responses, we can flag those who need additional monitoring,” Donnell said Tuesday during a phone interview. “It'll be really important as the dust starts to settle and we start calling people back to work.” 

Enterprise Health was created in 2004 to provide software to large corporations, health care providers and governments providing onsite health clinics to treat employees. The firm, which employs 35 full time, has clients in more than 55 countries and offers its occupational health software in nine languages.

Annual revenue is $8 million to $10 million and growing rapidly. Last year, the company almost doubled its annual recurring revenue.

Clients include Eli Lilly, Dow Chemical, Chevron, Bristol Myers Squibb and several U.S. Department of Energy labs, Donnell said. 

The new Channel 19 software is a limited version of more robust products being used by those clients. A pandemic response capability was included in the comprehensive software package, but about half a dozen companies have only recently started to use the option, he said.

“Our clients have been giving up rapid feedback: 'Hey, this works well, but can you tweak this?'” Donnell said, adding the simplified version requires minimal training before it's operational.

The software is now available to all employers, regardless of whether they offer onsite health care, he said. Enterprise Health is selling the product at cost, an effort to keep its Fort Wayne-based workers busy and support other employers, Donnell said. 

“If you're trying to keep (employee health records) on spreadsheets or email or whatever,” he said, “it can be a real nightmare.”


Monitoring workers

Walmart on Tuesday announced new health and safety measures for its workers.

The retailer will begin taking employees' temperatures when they report to work.

Anyone registering 100 degrees or higher will be sent home.

Walmart workers are also being asked to stay at least 6 feet away from customers and each other. They are also being directed to be sure they wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Masks and gloves are being shipped to all stores and will be available to any employee who wants to wear them.

John Furner, Walmart's president and CEO, said the company's COVID-19 emergency leave policy allows associates to stay home if they have any COVID-19 related symptoms, concerns, illness or are quarantined – knowing that their jobs will be protected.

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