Coronavirus News: Tech companies race to create worker health screening devices

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Technology companies race to create worker health screening devices
EMBED <>More Videos

Kristin Thorne reports on some potentially revolutionary tech being developed on Long Island that could assist with safe reentry to the workplace

RONKONKOMA, Long Island (WABC) -- As businesses look to reopen, technology companies are racing to create devices that can be used to test workers' temperatures and more.

Soter Technologies, based in Ronkonkoma, has created a machine called SymptomSense, which can test someone's temperature, heart rate, respiration rate and blood oxygen level in as little as five seconds. The machine is similar to a walk-through airport security detector.

"We're getting orders from all around the world right now," said Soter Technologies CEO Derek Peterson.

Peterson said the company has filled thousands of orders for SymptomSense, including for the NBA, MLB and NHL.

"The teams right now are looking to have them for their players and during the practice sessions and then also for the immediate staff working in the back offices," he said.

SymptomSense, which costs $35,000 per unit, can also send a text message or an email to employers about a worker's health status.

"To get the economy going, open schools and allow for people to safely work and gather we need to use sensor technology and continue to follow recommended safety protocols," Peterson said.

Peterson said SymptomSense does not need FDA approval.

A kiosk manufactured by Popshap called the COVID-19 Kiosk takes someone's temperature and at the same time checks to make sure the user is wearing a mask. If not, the kiosk will remind the person to put on a mask.

"Businesses are pivoting to assist and survive in the midst of Covid-19," said Popshap founder, Eitan Magid.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday he expects businesses to have continuous health screenings of workers in order to enter the workplace.

"Businesses have to do their part also," he said.

Officials at MacArthur Airport are doing their part to make sure workers and passengers stay healthy.

It's the first airport in the world to install 24-7 air and surface sanitizing mobile stations.

The CASPR system, which stands for Continuous Air and Surface Pathogen Reduction, delivers trace levels of hydrogen peroxide into the air killing bacteria and viruses. The amount of hydrogen peroxide is comparable to levels found in nature.

The commissioner of the airport, Shelley LaRose-Arken, said the airport has installed eight CASPR mobile units for approximately $10,000.

"As airline passengers and employees return to the airport, we are committed to providing the highest level of comfort and confidence," she said.

The units are located around the baggage claim area, gate areas, ticket counters and the security checkpoint.

"It's really used to supplement our traditional cleaning. Of course, that's still going to continue and is still going to happen at the airport, but this particular technology allows us to raise the bar a little bit higher," LaRose-Arken said.

Airport officials will also be installing anti-microbial film wraps for door handles and other high-touch surfaces throughout the airport.