Many things about the current pandemic have been described as unprecedented, but not all are negative, with positive connotations including the underlying and impressive technology and innovation response to tackling the virus and the vast threat to human life it poses.
The world has moved from a point where over half of humanity was on lockdown in April to beginning to live alongside the virus as technology and innovation is deployed at scale to test, track and trace cases, enabling a safe return to work, slowing community spread and transmission, and ultimately saving lives.
National ambition has not been in short supply, with talk of moonshots and programmes of testing and technologies which would go way beyond anything we have seen before, but there is a danger in looking for unprecedented solutions to one particular crisis that we ignore the potential of very real and active technologies already on the market and which would have a much wider role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of society.
It is already clear that collaboration is key to not just defeating this pandemic, but others which may come after it, and indeed even annual occurrences such as the common flu. And that it requires not just co-operation between health and technology companies, but between the public and private sectors, governments and citizens. Much effort here, too, could also build on partnerships which already exist and provide a model for a better, healthier future, where we all have access to improved healthcare and technologies to help us manage both disease and treatment.
Digi.me and Wellbeing Pharmacies Limited, for example, have been working together for some time on their Acorn Medications Management platform, which provides access to GP records, enabling individuals to own and control their data and liaise more closely with pharmacists. Recently, Covid-19 test results have been added to existing data, which users can download and share if wanted with third parties.
But this partnership – and the benefits to those accessing it – has gone up a gear with two new developments which vastly add to the overall strength and capability of services on offer.
Wellbeing Pharmacies applied their healthcare expertise and partnered with Korean suppliers and occupational health specialists to launch Agilis Health. Agilis brings together a range of Covid-19 testing solutions, along with cutting edge sanitisation solutions, decontamination, PPE and other risk mitigation technologies, and is designed specifically to help restart the economy by helping businesses reopen safely, and get people back to work.
Digi.me, meanwhile, has recently launched Consentry, a privacy-centric platform which helps businesses proactively manage the health of their facilities and staff, providing a real time dashboard to help business be proactive, helping give their staff confidence and stay ahead of the risks, as well as manage any outbreaks. Digi.me is also now working more closely with the Agilis family of companies to jointly provide a wider range of support services.
Mark Hedley, of Agilis, said: “We recognised through our existing partnership with digi.me that there was an opportunity to leverage the privacy-centric technologies of digi.me to further enhance our offerings and put in place models that would better help businesses return to work where national programmes had struggled. As part of this we’ve been working with digi.me on developing and testing the Consentry tracing platform within our pharmacy stores.”
Julian Ranger, founder and executive chairman of digi.me, said: “In recent months, the need for data and concerns about privacy rapidly moved up the agenda. We saw an opportunity to bring a new solution to market using our expertise and privacy-centric technology to help address some of the track and trace challenges.”
Together Digi.me and Agilis have developed their partnership to offer a range of technologies and services which create an effective Covid-19 response, including lab-based testing, point of care rapid tests, cleaning and disinfecting technology and IT services as well as providing clinical and occupation health support services which will be key to achieving governments’ ambitions of returning life to as normal as possible as soon as possible.
Julian added: “We recognised early on that there was a need to provide a cohesive set of services and so our partnership with Agilis has been instrumental in bringing this solution to market.”
Consentry is available today for business to adopt and digi.me and Agilis are also working to provide a more integrated holistic set of services to not only support getting people back to work, but providing businesses with occupational health support services which address the key health and data challenges in the post-pandemic world.